The President of the LA
Police Commission wants officers outfitted with video cameras. To Steve
Soboroff the idea is very appealing on a number of levels. For one, he thinks
it makes everyone safer. He believes it cuts down on interpersonal
confrontations that could occur between officers and the public because a "bodycam"
would be rolling.
We took a tiny GoPRO
camera this morning. Strapped it to my chest and asked people we found on
Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks "if I were a cop with a camera would you be
comfortable with me recording you if you, for instance, were speeding?"
Most people I spoke with thought outfitting LAPD officers is a very good idea.
They said it would cut down on those "he said she said" cases. With
video most thought there would be proof of whatever occurred in an
Rialto police have been
using bodycams. They say there has been an 88% drop in complaints as a result.
Soberoff is trying to raise 1-million dollars for 500 cameras and about 2 years
of data storage. So far, he has about $600,000. The latest $250,000 of that
coming from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There are some people
who say they are a little uncomfortable with this, but most people I spoke with
thought it was a good idea.
Soboroff says when it
comes time to create rules he wants to hear from police officials, the union
(rank & file) and civil rights groups to make sure there is a discussion
about privacy and how that plays into this.