We are learning that the implementation of body worn camera (BWC) technology involves more than the introduction of new technology into law enforcement. Full implementation of BWCs in a police agency affects key areas of operations and administration, as well as internal and external stakeholders, in significant ways. For many departments, the implementation of BWCs is in direct response to community and stakeholder concerns about police use of force and the desire for transparency in how these incidents are investigated, reviewed, and managed.
Resources about Privacy and Related Issues
This webinar discusses how agencies can best manage and respond to the media and community after a crisis or high profile event that involves deliberate or inadvertent release of video footage. Without pre-thought and pre-planning regarding how to manage the release of video footage, a police agency can experience erosion of public community relations and perhaps violence.
The Albuquerque department has been the subject of a Justice Department investigation in which body cameras were adopted in 2012 in the wake of controversy over police shootings, along with a requirement that officers use them to document civilian encounters.However, the cameras have hardly proven to be a solution to the department's problems. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico has been leading the way in pushing for reform of the Albuquerque police department, with its advocacy having for example played a key role in prompting the Justice Department's investigation.
You can read this article online here.
The introduction of law enforcement body cameras raises a number of questions for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. At the core of these questions is the issue of how best to increase accountability and oversight of police officers’ conduct while not increasing and enhancing the explosion of surveillance and information gathering already being conducted by government. This memorandum was developed by the ACLU of Illinois outlining the privacy safeguards they believe necessary to keep the focus on accountability and oversight of police, and preventing the use of body cams from becoming another broad surveillance tool.