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PCP: St. Louis Park plans to buy body cameras for police

PCP: St. Louis Park plans to buy body cameras for police

Discussion surrounds the city’s decision to implement body-worn cameras for officers by the end of 2019, according to the police.

February 21, 2019

Police cameras necessary

Police camera installation benefits community

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Police cameras necessary

The city’s decision to use body-worn cameras is an excellent choice as it will help protect both police officers and the public.

Body-worn cameras (BWCs) provide a witness for encounters between the public and police officers. This perspective is valuable as it can be used to justify the actions of officers or obtain justice for civilians.

In recent years, the Black Lives Matter movement — among other socially motivated groups — has brought light to the need for accountability of law enforcement. The use of BWCs can address this issue by creating transparency between the police and the public.

The cameras can also help protect police from false claims of misconduct by providing an additional view on difficult situations.

Although BWCs are costly, their use makes them more than worth it.

Cameras can lead to public trust of law enforcement, which is essential to a peaceful society. The adoption and use of BWCs by St. Louis Park police will encourage a safer city for all.

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    Cameras ineffective

    Cost of cameras would be better spent elsewhere

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    Cameras ineffective

    After reading the body-worn camera policy, it became apparent that the devices are too pricy and their effectiveness is still unproven.

    The primary issue with body-worn cameras (BWCs) is the cost. According to the Bureau of Justice Assistance, it would cost around $1,166 to outfit each officer.

    When considering how many officers must be equipped with a camera, the pricetag becomes extreme. We must also consider the cost of storing the massive amount of video from the cameras.

    In addition, the usage of body-worn cameras in law enforcement is a relatively new practice, meaning there has been little time for their effectiveness to be researched.

    Instead of investing in BWCs right now, St. Louis Park should wait to see if costs drop, as they likely will as more police forces adopt similar policies.

    The city should also wait to see if it is proven that they are effective in preventing police brutality and protecting the public in the first place, or else they entirely unnecessary.

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    The Echo intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. Furthermore, we do not permit any of the following inappropriate content including: Libel or defamatory statements, any copyrighted, trademarked or intellectual property of others, the use of profanity and foul language or personal attacks. All comments are reviewed and approved by staff to ensure that they meet these standards. The Echo does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a name and valid email address submitted that are variable. This email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments. Online comments that are found in violation of these policies will be removed as quickly as possible. Please direct any further questions to [email protected]




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