by Lorenzo Burgio
As a student who has worked multiple retail, labor and customer service jobs throughout college, it’s baffling when police officers oppose the use of body cameras.
It is difficult to remember a job where security cameras were not running around the clock to make certain that employees did their jobs correctly.
Nearly everyone employed in the labor, retail and customer service fields are constantly being monitored to ensure their jobs are performed correctly; it’s trivial to think this does not apply to armed law enforcement.
It’s not a sufficient argument that “no one want to be monitored on the job,” when everyone is except police officers.
Across the nation, many law enforcement agencies have begun issuing body cameras to officers willing to comply, but there has been an alarming number that oppose the idea.
Coming from someone who has spent the last five and a half years being recorded at multiple jobs, only one reason comes to mind when an officer resists: they are not doing their job correctly.
It’s the only reason that lingers each time it is reported that an officer tried to prevent someone from filming them, or covered their badges from being seen.
An Act Concerning Excessive Use of Force was signed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy last October, to encourage the use of body cameras and use-of-force investigations in the state of Connecticut, but has received little response from state law enforcement.
Earlier this month, The Hartford Courant reported 12 out of the over 100 law enforcement agencies in the state have reached out to the Office of Police and Management regarding the act to receive reimbursement for body cameras; a $15 million program.
More interest in this program needs to be showed by law enforcement across the state, particularly to align with the beliefs of officers and the public.
A Pew Research study showed 93 percent of the public and 66 percent of police favor the use of body cameras to record interactions between officers and the public. About six-in-ten Americans said they would likely be more cooperative with officers if they wore body cameras, while only one-third of police agreed.
The study also showed two-thirds of the public and half of officers believe police are more likely to act appropriately when wearing a body camera.
It appears the actions taken by law enforcement agencies across the state regarding the use of body cameras do not match the beliefs of the public, or the majority of officers.
It is difficult to comprehend how nearly every employee in the retail, administration, labor and customer service industries are constantly monitored, but this does not apply to armed law enforcement, when statistics clearly show the public and many police feel body cameras will help protect and serve.