LOS ANGELES – Thousands of law enforcement agencies are equipping their officers with tiny cameras to record interactions with the public. But the devices are often being rolled out faster than departments can create policies on how they're used.
American Civil Liberties Union general counsel Scott Greenwood says officers in one of every six departments are now patrolling with cameras and their myriad uses are forcing them to examine new policy considerations.
Unlike dashboard cameras, body cameras follow the officer from their cruiser into homes on search warrants, while running after a suspect, or into a bathroom or locker room.
If accidentally left on, they can also capture private conversations between partners. Footage can become evidence in a criminal case and can be used to discipline officers or exonerate officers of false accusations.