Camera Purchase for Police was a Wise City Investment

Another instance where body-worn video has proven to be a wise investment was written about in The Herald-Times. Here is the article:

Camera purchase for police was a wise city investment

The Herald-Times

Technology has given the Bloomington Police Department an advantage when it comes to reconstructing the details of a recent officer-involved shooting incident.

Officer William Abram was wearing a department-issued body-worn camera when he answered a call early the morning of Nov. 2. The horror of what prompted the call 121770 two IU students raped after men broke in to their apartment has perhaps overshadowed the fact that a shoot-out followed.

Police rarely discharge their weapons in Bloomington, and suspects rarely shoot at officers. The possibility exists every day, of course, but as opposed to police-action dramas on television, shoot-outs are, thankfully, few and (usually) far between.

In this case, the body-worn camera has captured rough video images of what the officer was seeing that morning, and clear sounds of him identifying himself, the gunshots that followed and his responses and actions.

This is the kind of technology that would have been helpful in Ferguson, Mo., where a police shooting sparked questions about the behavior of both the suspect who was shot and the officer who did the shooting. Lack of clear answers blew up into rioting and the community is still tense as the case continues to work through the system.

The Bloomington Police Department has tested body cams since 2011 and finally ordered 30 cameras late in 2013. Police Chief Mike Diekhoff told the H-T that having the cameras takes a lot of speculation off the table about what may have occurred during a significant and potentially controversial officer interaction.

Using this technology, its going to give us a pretty much unbiased picture of what happened, how the situation unfolded or how the situation with the citizen went, he told H-T reporter Abby Tonsing.I think police officers today know that most situations they are involved in, they’re being recorded. This technology shows, from the officers viewpoint, what happens.

The video can help lead to the truth, when police are acting wholly appropriately and also in those cases of legitimate citizen complaints. That’s important to both the police and the people they serve.

These body cameras will pay off in this case and others. In buying them, the city has invested in seeking the truth, and thats a really worthy investment.

Source: opinion:

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