More on Body Worn Cameras

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More On Body Worn Cameras


Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. And Today’s Tip deals with one of the hottest topics in law enforcement today, body worn cameras. 

Bottom line, though, we must all work together ensure we all understand the issues so that we can make the transition to body-worn cameras the positive experience that it can and should be. 

If you’re concerned about the transition to body worn camerasyou’re not alone. As we adjust to this new piece of equipment, let’s remember it can help protect us from false accusations and can result in more effective law enforcement. You may see fewer subpoenas and more suspects pleading guilty, knowing that their actions were captured on video 

Will some officers feel like the cameras are a form of “gotcha?” Probably sometimes. We will no doubt say something we regret. Hey, it may be something that embarrasses the heck out of us. All I can say is that we should be ready for it and, whatever we do, we must not try to cover anything up. Remember what we learned from Watergate and other tape erasures or attempts to delete anything. Aside from being wrong, it is just plain dumb, and may even be illegal. In the digital age, nothing will ever be completely erased. We would probably get fired for trying and we might even find ourselves facing criminal charges. The facts are the facts. We did what we did. We said what we said. Or for you younger guys and gals: it is what it is. We should just take our medicine and learn from our mistakes.  

I want to end this by speaking to you law enforcement leaders who will be reviewing these recordings. I know that we in law enforcement find ourselves in a difficult time and I know that there is no easy answer but I just want to encourage you to make sure that all of the facts are considered, including facts that may not have been captured on video. A video recording may not tell the full story of an event or explain an officer’s behavior. And to the extent you can, please remember that our officers and deputies are human beings- even if sometimes it feels like the public expects us not to be. 

Bottom line, though, we must all work together ensure we all understand the issues so that we can make the transition to body-worn cameras the positive experience that it can and should be.     

And that is today’s tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off. 

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