The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed on Tuesday that it will begin equipping its officers with body cameras, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. They have chosen to go with body cameras supplied by Taser, the company best known for producing stun guns that are used by officers to subdue potentially dangerous suspects.
Officers from the LAPD tested two different body camera brands in the field over the last three months, choosing the Taser brand cameras due to their ease of use and storage, and other features that make the cameras and video footage more accessible.
It also took officers very little time to adjust to evidence.com, Taser’s storage site for video footage collected by on-duty police officers. One officer compared the cloud-based storage system to Apple’s iPhone, noting the particular ease with which officers were able to get accustomed to the new technology.
Officers had also tested police body cameras by Coban, the camera company that provides the LAPD with its in-car camera systems.
Several different models of body cameras were tried out by the LAPD policemen, including wireless cameras that went on the chest and cameras that attached to sunglasses and lapels. The wireless chest cameras were highly favored over the other models.
Before the LAPD implements the use of body cameras, they will continue to work with police officials and the American Civil Liberties Union to develop a set of guidelines for proper usage of the cameras and video footage.
Ever since the controversial shooting of an unarmed teen in Ferguson, MO, police agencies across the country have started to purchase body cameras and in-car camera systems in great numbers. Body cameras and in-car camera systems have a number of benefits for both police departments and the public, including providing unbiased evidence of police and citizen encounters, allowing officers to review their actions through video footage and improving both police professionalism and officer and civilian safety.