I hope that the plans to strengthen the Columbia Police Department, such as the use of body cameras by officers and additional training, achieve their intended goals (“City to hold police more accountable,” Dec. 5).
One note of caution: While body-worn cameras by police offers may be promising, Michael D. White, a criminologist at Arizona State University, concluded in a study conducted for the U.S. Department of Justice that there was insufficient evidence to make a “definitive recommendation regarding the adoption of body-worn cameras by police.”
White concluded that “most of the claims” made about body-worn cameras are “untested” (“Police Officer Body-Worn Cameras: Assessing the Evidence,” 2014). Among his recommendations, White urges police departments to proceed “cautiously” with the adoption of body-worn cameras and to work in collaboration with researchers to rigorously evaluate the implementation and impact of the cameras.
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