Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti announced on Tuesday that every policeman in the city will soon be equipped with body cameras. At the press conference, Garcetti mentioned that the department will purchase about 7,000 on-body cameras for the LAPD officers with a view to guaranteeing police officer accountability, which has been called into question with the recent police brutality incidents in Ferguson, Los Angeles and New York. The Mayor emphasized: “The trust between a community and its police department can be eroded in a single moment, trust is built on transparency.”
Just about 2 weeks ago, US President, Barack Obama announced a $363 million fund of which $75 million will be used to pay half of the costs for 50.000 cameras that will be placed on the policemen. This is happening shorty after the tragic deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Ezell Ford. Ford was a 25 year-old mentally ill man that was killed by LA police shortly after Brown’s incident in Ferguson. In both incidents, statements made by the Police officer and eyewitnesses greatly differed.
The government has now decided to take a huge step towards incorporating technology into the daily work practices of police officers “Officers will have tremendously powerful evidence and the ability to collect it. We are starting a journey that will go on for decades”, LAPD chief Charlie Beck says.
Equipping the first set of 800 officers with the cameras is expected to be completed within 6 months. Meanwhile, Police departments in Chicago, New York, Minneapolis, Washington D.C. as well as Ferguson, Missouri have already decided to implement pilot programs with cameras on the policemen to achieve similar objectives.
Photo Credit: Associated Press