Cameras For Justice-Police Body Cams Make The Difference
All bold type is my addition.
Where It Works
In Rialto, California, where police began wearing body cameras back in 2012, citizen complaints against officers fell 88 percent in the first year, and use of force by officers declined 60 percent. That’s an indication that cameras don’t only document the events as they unfold, they actually change the way everyone involved behaves. As Rialto police chief told The New York Times: “When you put a camera on a police officer, they tend to behave a little better, follow the rules a little better. And if a citizen knows the officer is wearing a camera, chances are the citizen will behave a little better.”
Police That ‘Think More Carefully’
Still, despite the obvious challenges, Ready and Young note there are some clear-cut benefits to body worn cameras. In one study, they strapped cameras on 50 police officers for one year and compared their behavior to officers without cameras. They found that the officers wearing cameras conducted fewer stop and frisks and arrested fewer people. That suggests, they write, “that the presence of a camera may have led officers to think more carefully about what constitutes reasonable suspicion in stop-and-frisk situations and probable cause during arrests.”