In late June, the Pennsylvania State Police announced troopers would soon be testing out body cameras as a part of a pilot program. Patrol troopers will receive training and wear the cameras on their uniform through the end of the year.
The Philadelphia area has seen an increase in body camera usage. In October, the city signed a deal with Axon to outfit 4,000 patrol officers with the devices. State Police received a $52,000 federal grant to create and carry out training methods regarding the use of body cameras.
Benefits of body cameras
The body camera pilot program was put in place to benefit Pennsylvanians. State Police hope to increase public confidence in law enforcement. Additionally, body cameras pose as a valuable investigative resource. State Police officials continue to seek out funding so all troopers can wear the devices.
The overall goals are to create transparency and accountability, while reducing police violence.
Body cameras made a first appearance in the U.S. in 2012. Now, there are more than 60 models of police body cameras in the country to choose from. Unfortunately, these cameras are expensive and sometimes unreliable. Those opposed to body cameras say they have just the opposite effect, such as damaging community trust. Others may argue that it invades citizen privacy.
Most police clock into their jobs with good intentions. Regardless, the people of Philly sometimes experience police brutality. Brutality and assault can leave a victim physically and mentally damaged. It’s important that measures are taken to ensure justice.