The debate regarding the use of police body cameras rages on across the country, as numerous jurisdictions continue to evaluate potential benefits and risks of using them. Supporters hope it will help keep police officers on their best behavior, while also making criminals think twice before engaging in an altercation with police.
Some of the benefits of deploying body cameras worn by officers include being able to resolve complaints from the public, using footage in future training efforts, and providing additional evidence in legal cases.
"In addition to these benefits, a recent study suggests that the mere presence of [body worn cameras] may even serve to prevent negative interactions by modifying police officer and citizen behavior," according to a study from the Department of Justice. "As a result, the use of these devices may lead to enhance police accountability, as well as improved police-community relations."
Even if a state doesn't have laws against using body cameras, however, there are significant privacy concerns related to what is recorded - and who has access to taped encounters.