World View - Body Worn Video Revealed
Understanding the world of body worn video has been a hot topic as of late. The President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, proposed to introduce nearly 50,000 cameras to police officers in the country in a $75 million response to high-profile events such as the Ferguson shooting of Michael Brown. Although this would only represent a 7% coverage of America’s 700,000 sworn officers, White House backing is sure to drive change in law enforcement.
Notably, New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton announced the experimental program to equip the city’s officers with body worn video. Blasio said of the move:
“Body cameras are an additional step in the reforms we are undertaking that will greatly increase the confidence of the people of this city in their relationship with the NYPD”.
In Canada, Conservative MP Peter Goldring apologised for his views on his own use of body worn video systems, after issuing a strange press release saying not only that he wears “body-worn video recording equipment,” but that MPs who “consort with others” should do so too, “to prevent besmirchment when encounters run awry.” Later, Goldring retracted his statement after massive online backlash.
Queensland, Australia, also made headlines after the shooting of a suspect where an officer had been wearing a personal body camera which cleared him for any wrong doing. Over 75% of the Queensland police force have purchased their own cameras and use them after the department decided not to fund body worn video across the board.
Finally, the International Council of Police Representative Associations recent newsletter discusses body worn video cameras, stating that there are “more questions than answers surround the BWC debate”. Drawing on the above, the Association has collated a resource document with various body camera related material.