Police adopting officer body cams, and don't inform while recording

Police body cams are becoming more common place, worn by officers out on patrol, but there are growing privacy concerns.

Published Wed, Nov 19 2014 5:22 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:13 PM CST

A growing number of police agencies are adopting body cameras that officers wear while on patrol, providing a better account of what happens during interactions with the public. The cameras, about the size of a pack of cigarettes and worn on an officer's chest, can record at angles civilian cell phones and police cruiser in-dash cams can miss.

Police adopting officer body cams, and don't inform while recording | TweakTown.com

"In a couple of decades... every public safety employee, police officers, firefighters, paramedics, everybody will have them," said Charlie Beck, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) chief. "I think it improves behavior on both sides of the camera, which is our goal."

In addition to police officers behaving more appropriately, citizens - and potential suspects - could behave better if they know they are being recorded. However, there are privacy concerns because police officers are not required to inform people if they are recording.

"People behave better," said Peter Bibring, ACLU director of police practices. "Officers are less likely to initiate uses of force and apparently to initiate conduct that might draw up complaints if they're wearing body cameras. But we do think that they're privacy concerns that need to be addressed through strong policies... if you don't have strict policies in place to prevent videos from getting out, they will get out."

An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog, AlamedaTech.com, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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