Los Angeles Police To Start Wearing Body Cameras

Police Body Cameras

While in some countries, police harass helpless citizens and extort them on the highway, in Los Angeles however, every police officer will soon be equipped with a body camera in order to help fight crime, Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced. Read more from The Huffington Post:

Garcetti said at a press conference that the department will buy 7,000 on-body cameras for Los Angeles Police Department officers to expand transparency and accountability. “The trust between a community and its police department can be eroded in a single moment,” Garcetti said. “Trust is built on transparency.”

The announcement comes two weeks after President Barack Obama announced a $363 million package that includes $75 million to pay half the cost of 50,000 officer-mounted cameras. The technology has been widely endorsed as a reform following the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager killed by Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in August.

“No big city department has done this,” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said at the press conference. “Officers will have tremendously powerful evidence and the ability to collect it. We are starting a journey that will go on for decades.”

Beck said he didn’t expect that the cameras would be recording all the time. For example, cameras would not be used when officers interview victims of sexual abuse, but would likely be used when a suspect is in custody. Policies on proper use of the cameras will be considered in early 2015. The mayor’s office said the city hopes to deploy the first 800 cameras within six months.

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