police body cameras

Having police officers wear little cameras seems to have no discernible impact on citizen complaints or officers' use of force, at least in the nation's capital.

That's the conclusion of a study performed as Washington, D.C., rolled out its huge camera program. The city has one of the largest forces in the country, with some 2,600 officers now wearing cameras on their collars or shirts.

Body cameras are spreading fast through American policing, and they're generating an ocean of video. Axon, a company that provides secure cloud storage for police departments, says it has received more than 4 million hours' worth of video uploads from its clients.

Governor Rick Scott has signed a body-camera related bill into law. But, while it has the support of Florida law enforcement groups, others continue to have reservations.

New York City is set to begin giving body cameras to its police officers on Thursday.

Under the police department's pilot program, 1,200 officers in 20 precincts will receive the cameras. The officers will also be studied by scientists to see what effect the cameras have on policing.

As police don body cameras across the country, scientists are increasingly working with departments to figure out how the cameras change behavior — of officers and the public.

Florida lawmakers want to allow law enforcement officers to review their body camera footage before writing a report or making a statement.

Flickr/Creative Commons

Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday signed 34 bills into law, including a measure that will require standards for the use of police body cameras and a plan that could lead to revamping dental care in the Medicaid program.

The body-camera bill (HB 93) was a priority of many Democratic lawmakers and came after a series of highly publicized confrontations across the country between police and members of the public.

Walter Michot / Miami Herald Staff

Miami-Dade Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol last weekend in Key West – and the traffic stop was captured on video via body cameras.

Key West cops began using the cameras this summer. Miami-Dade County was recently awarded funds from the Department of Justice to kickstart the program.