Mayor Bernero Wants Body Cameras For LPD Officers
Cameras are seemingly everywhere watching the public like a hawk. Unfortunately, there are still too many instances of he said, she said in the world. Of course, the answer to the problem is more cameras, right?
Granted, the recent events in Ferguson, MO make the topic of police body cameras a legitimate topic of conversation. There has already been a push from the law enforcement community to increase the number of body cameras on officers on patrol. President Barack Obama has requested special funding in the neighborhood of $263 million to aid in the efforts. Now, according to this article at wilx.com, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero would like to see Lansing be a city that makes the investment in body cameras for its officers by the end of 2015. The article states that with 200 officers at LPD, it would cost an estimated $250,000 to properly equip the department. Bernero thinks that the positives and benefits in the extra know-factor outweigh the cost to taxpayers. And, he just may have a point.
It wasn't too long ago that Lansing spent money for street cameras to help deter incidents in areas of high criminal activity. For the most part, it seems that these cameras have done their jobs. They haven't completely prevented crime in these areas, as spelled out in this article from Lansing City Pulse. And, there are some, like the ACLU, that view these cameras as an invasion of privacy and civil rights. But, they have aided in solving crimes at times, as well. most police forces already institute the use of dash cams, and have for quite some time.
So, are body cams a necessary extension of dash cams? Do they further inhibit privacy and civil rights? Are they worth the expenditure? Let another great debate begin!