The Importance Of Police Officers

Decent Essays

In recent years, law enforcement in America has been criticized for its use of excessive force. While the abuse of power is not a new phenomenon, the rise of readily available cameras in the pockets of the majority of citizens has lead to more of these instances being captured on video. This has lead to an increasingly high level of distrust of law enforcement from the general public, especially from minorities. Perhaps an issue generated from this distrust, many officers have been accused of using excessive force; unfortunately, it’s difficult to tell whether or not the allegations are true or not. One debated solution to this issue is to require on duty police officers to wear body cameras (body cams). These cameras would be mounted to …show more content…

So far, I have mentioned the benefits body cameras would give police officers, but the safety these cameras bring law enforcement and the general public is a mutually beneficial. Since police officers are aware that their actions are being filmed, it is within their best interest to behave professionally. This would reduce police officer’s use of excessive violence since the likelihood of being reprimanded for misconduct would increase as a result of the video evidence. In a study on the effectiveness of police officer body cameras, Ariel et al. report a “93% before–after reduction in complaint incidence.” However, the footage from body cams could carry other benefits.
In addition to increasing safety, body cameras provide material for training and evaluation. The footage from body cameras could be used to train police officers, giving a visual demonstration on what to do and what not to do. Furthermore, researchers at Washington State University are looking into how to improve police training with the use of body cam footage (Aumen). These researchers plan to use the camera data to design algorithms and new software in order to achieve “more objective and holistic descriptions of police-community interactions” (Aumen). This means that, in the near future, footage from body cameras would be able to further improve the quality of police officer training due to more advanced information collecting methods than are currently available.
On the other hand, body

Get Access