Wearable video cameras bring more data for officers in the field

Posted on Sep 11, 2014

A lot of attention is being put on how successful police technology can help increase accountability for officers while working in the field. Wearable video cameras are quickly becoming one of the most popular devices for police departments.

Officers wearing small cameras are increasing their accountability in the field which makes residents feel safer

These devices are small enough to not weigh down officers and they can record video while agents are patrolling their districts. Charles Katz, a professor for the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University, recently spoke with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC's The Last Word.

Police departments see success after camera rollout

Katz explained that when the Maryvale Police Department in Phoenix instituted the new wearable cameras, the decline in citizen complaints about officers or the department fell by up to 60 percent, ASU News reported.

The topic of California's Rialto Police Department came up in conversation between Katz and O'Donnell and how the agency saw an 80 percent drop in complaints after using the wearable video camera system.

"In Rialto, we may want to think about it as kind of an extreme example because of the number of problems that community faced before the police department implemented cameras," Katz says. "It was a police department with substantial issues…"

Increasing police accountability key 

Police accountability is a major concern for department heads and citizens all around the nation. Technology is helping these agencies with more data and information, from the smallest of incidents to major Part I crimes.

Hadi Partovi, a police technology entrepreneur and board member of Taser International, explained that police cameras could cut down the need for more guns and weapons being used for police departments, Geekwire reported.

"I think also on top of the transparency of what's happening, cameras will actually increase safety," Partovi said in a Geekwire radio interview. "They've done studies where if you give the exact same officers a camera or no camera, when they're wearing a camera there's a 60 percent less chance they use violence because they know that they're being recorded and everybody acts more civil in that kind of a circumstance."

Department need for logging additional notes

New crime control technology like wearable cameras is helping officers solve more crimes and record more data. With the increase of information being recorded from officers in the field, police notes are increasing for agents.

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