Police Body Cameras Essay

Cases of police violence and inappropriate behavior of police officers, especially in relation to racial minorities, evokes a strong debate over the implementation of police body cameras, which allow police officers to record what they are doing and seeing. In case of any disputes, the police can use the video records to conduct internal investigations or to obtain extra information about the particular place or person that may be involved into a crime or witness crime. However, the idea of the introduction of police body cameras evokes a strong opposition because of numerous negative effects of such a policy. In fact, the introduction of police body cameras is a controversial policy which may have both positive and negative effects.

Police body cameras may be good because they can increase the responsibility of police officers and citizens, because both of them become aware of video recording of their actions and communication (Knickerbocker 6). In such a way, police body cameras increase the responsibility of the key stakeholders. Hence, the researcher (Knickerbocker 7) admits that police officers and citizens will behave better, after the introduction of police body cameras. Such assumption is grounded on the idea that people change their behavior, when they know that they under the surveillance. Police body cameras can potentially eliminate any miscomprehension in relationships between police officers and civilians. For example, if a civilian resists or behaves aggressively in relation to the police officer and the officer uses the required, reasonable force to detain the offender, then he/she will not be able to claim that his/her case was the police violence or that the police officer exceeded the reasonable use of force.

 At the same time, some researchers (Gambacorta & Difilippo 2) point out that police body camera has not only benefits but also drawbacks. They may enhance the responsibility of police officers and citizens. On the other hand, they may bring problems, especially in regard to the privacy of Americans. Nevertheless, Gambacorta and Difilippo believe that the presence of negative effects is still not the reason to refuse form police body cameras pointblank. Instead, both pros and contras of police body cameras have to be studied.

The introduction of police body cameras has a number of opponents, who are very skeptical about their success and positive effects. In this regard, they have a number of negative effects. For example, Elinson and Frosch insist that the introduction of police body cameras will raise problems from the moment of their introduction. The researchers (Elinson & Frosch 7) argue that body cameras will lead to the information overload of the police since the police will have to process and store all video records obtained from police body cameras.

Another technical problem associated with the introduction of police body cameras is the quality of video records, which some experts (Rahman 11) question. In fact, S. Rahman insists that body camera cannot make high quality video records that allow obtaining the accurate face image, while without the recognition of the face of an offender, for example, the police cannot identify him/her. Therefore, there is no use of body cameras if the quality of video recording is not high enough to recognize faces of people recorded on the body camera.

Moreover, police body cameras may have large scale negative effects which may change the US democracy and relationship between the state and the people. At this point, it is possible to refer to the study conducted by Levinson-Waldman, where the author uncovers the dystopian perspective on the use of police body cameras. The researcher (Levinson-Waldman 8) warns against the increasing surveillance opportunities that police body cameras create for law enforcement agencies and the state. In such a way, the author virtually forecasts the transformation of the US into a sort of Orwellian world, where the state has total control over the private life of individuals and where every individual is under the permanent surveillance from the part of the state. In fact, such assumptions are not mere fancy of the author but rather objective reasons since police body cameras will let the police to conduct surveillance without any legal reason or without any formal permission to conduct such surveillance. The mere presence of a police officer close to the surveyed person will be enough for the surveillance.

However, Stanley preserves optimism about the introduction of police body cameras since the researcher believes that police body cameras may be effective, but the police should elaborate the effective policy of their implementation and use in the regular work of police officers (Staney 12). The policy should eliminate all risks and negative effects of police body cameras. Positive effects should be realized to the full extent instead.

Thus, the introduction of police body cameras may have not only positive but also negative effects. This is why their introduction should be postponed until the coherent and effective policy of their use is elaborated. Otherwise, the risk of negative effects of the new policy will outweigh potential benefits police body cameras may bring. Therefore, the new policy should take into consideration possible negative effects and eliminate them to make police body cameras really effective.

Works Cited:

Elinson, Z. and Frosch, D. Police Cameras Bring Problems of Their Own.

Gambacorta, D. and Difilippo, D. The Pros and Cons of Policy Body Cameras.

Knickerbocker, B. Study Shows that with Police Body Cameras “Everyone Behaves Better”.

Levinson-Waldman, R. The Dystopian Danger of Police Body Camera.

Rahman, S. Body Cameras Could Transform Policing – for the Worse

Stanley, J. Police Body-Mounted Cameras: With Right Policies in Place, a Win for All.

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[Accessed: June 2, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 2, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 2, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 2, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 2, 2020]