The Edmonton police department has been testing body-worn video recording devices but is debating the value, stating that they still need more time to study. Other arguments of privacy concerns are hollow, given the public proliferation of TV cameras in society by banks, 7-Eleven’s, etc. The Calgary police force has been using these cameras since November 2012; they have found that the cameras enhance officers’ effectiveness, as well as public safety and intend to continue using them.
According to a recent CBC Calgary article, the cameras have resulted in early case resolutions and convictions. They showed that people behaved differently when they know they are being videotaped, not only the civilian but the officer as well; this helps to de-escalate the situation for both parties.
The president of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police believes yet another advantage from the body-worn cameras would be that, the evidence from these cameras could be used in court to “protect officers from false allegation of misconduct, and also provide us with the opportunity to hold our officers accountable, if there was misconduct.” These body-worn cameras would not only protect the citizens but also the police.
Compare court evidence given at present to this new technology! Hand-written anywhere any time, notebooks from memory, with Timex arbitrarily recorded times to real digital time recording, real digital pictures, and real digital sound recording of events. Imagine the many thousands of hours of court evidence time saved and improved upon each year questioning witnesses, police, and others without memory lapses, and with real proof of time referencing.
One eight hour day of court time, with judge, prosecutor, and defence, can costover $20,000! Body-worn video cameras cost approximately $1,200!
I believe all police should wear body-worn video cameras for assurance of quality.