The criminal justice system in recent years has been experiencing many changes due to technological advancement. One of the recent innovations in the criminal field is the body camera. Those cameras are attached to the uniform of a police officer and record all the person’s movements. This essay will discuss the case of the Rialto police department deploying body cameras and the effect of such technology on society and the justice system.
The case to be debated has caused many questions and impressions in society. The first police department that started using body cameras was the Rialto police department, which conducted a successful experiment with body cameras in 2012. The results showed that complaints against officers wearing body cameras declined by 88%, and the use of force reduced by 60%. Later other states and cities like New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and others set plans to deploy body cameras for their uniformed officers. The case of Michael Brown, a police officer shot, started a national campaign calling for police departments to deploy body cameras. However, some government officials have concerns regarding the responsible wearing of body cameras by police, which is why ramifications for misuse are planned to be installed.
Body cameras can significantly affect the criminal justice system and society. As the statistics mentioned above showed, body camera deployment can benefit police officers and the people with whom they interact. Body cameras can also help bring justice to cases like Michael Brown’s shooting when due to the absence of evidence, police officers cannot be punished. The people can also feel safer in the area where police officers protect them and do not abuse power. In addition, body cameras can serve as evidence when police officers become witnesses of crimes that cannot be proved. Hence, the level of crime might also reduce, consequently making society safer.
To conclude, the Rialto police department’s case is a step forward in digitalizing the criminal justice system. However, the case raised the administration’s concerns regarding officers’ responsibilities in wearing body cameras. This technology can positively influence the law system and society because it can help prevent crimes and provide evidence to bring justice to cases involving police.
Demetrius, D., & Okwu, M. (2014). Meet the first U.S. Police Department to Deploy Body Cameras. Al Jazeera America. Web.