Police body cameras are set to become part of the standard uniform soon, due to a new reform package. President Obama is putting $263 million into an initiative which could end up curbing the rising trend of police brutality across the U.S.
After the Grand Jury voted not to indict the now former Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown, waves of violence have ensued, crying for justice. In the wake of the violence, other acts of allegedly unnecessary police actions have led to several other deaths and shootings, which allegedly could have been avoided. In some cases, the police allegedly held the evidence back, hoping that the press, courts, and victims would never ask for it.
The latter issue is one reason President Barack Obama’s new incentive may backfire. Some police departments may choose to ignore or destroy the videos and hope to allegedly get away with their officers’ actions.
The call for police body cameras includes $75 million to pay for the implementation of 50,000 lapel-mounted cameras to record the actions of authorities on the job. Additional funding included in the reform package will go into teaching police the responsible use of their weapons, including assault rifles and armored personnel carriers now used in some more military-level departments.
The White House has pledged the federal funds in hopes of reducing police brutality and keeping our officers accountable. The president has also decided against stopping the transfer of military-level armaments and equipment to police departments requesting them, instead hoping that education will work more effectively.
“We’ve found that in many cases these programs serve a useful purpose. What is needed, however, is much greater consistency in the oversight of these programs.”
Over the next three years, the campaign demanded by lawyers in the Michael Brown shooting case is expected to be fully implemented, and is set to begin in the next few weeks. Police body cameras, if used correctly, could help reduce the wave of police attacks on innocent civilians, as authorities will be forced to answer for their actions caught on video.
The White House has also stated that it will be pushing for police to work on trust in their communities.
“Recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, and around the country, have shone a spotlight on the importance of strong, collaborative relationships between local police and the communities they protect and serve.
“As the country has witnessed, disintegration of trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve can [destabilize] communities, undermine the legitimacy of the criminal justice system, undermine public safety, create resentment in local communities, and make the job of delivering police services less safe and more difficult.”
What do you think of President Obama’s new reform package? Will police body cameras be an effective step toward keeping officers accountable?
[Image via Quantum Insights]