conceptual drawing of police officer with a camera eye

Jeffrey Alan Love

President Obama yesterday asked for $263 million over the next three years to, among other things, equip and train police with body-worn cameras. Scientific American published an Agenda item on body worn cameras in the December issue (currently on news stands). Among our points:

>>>"Chances are that the movement to adopt body-worn cameras is unstoppable. The American Civil Liberties Union, a traditional opponent of surveillance, has cautiously embraced the technology. This momentum makes the urgent need for clear rules and training guidelines all the more apparent. Towns and cities that are planning to use the cameras should ensure that the community has an ongoing say in those plans, as well as a mechanism to resolve disputes when videos are subject to contradictory interpretations.

>>>"Finally, the DOJ, which will probably end up subsidizing the purchase of many of these cameras, should buy devices only for police forces that participate in larger research efforts and share the results with the wider public. This way we can all see what is going on."

Read more: Cities Want Cops to Wear Cameras, but Technology Could Heighten Distrust if Not Carefully Used