American cities rushed to provide police departments with body cameras, spurred by public outcry over shooting incidents in Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere.
Having moved fast, however, cities are now running into friction, often from within their own ranks. Opponents of the contract arrangements say officials may have cut corners by signing no-bid deals, by not testing options thoroughly or by becoming too cozy with vendors.
Along with police departments in New York City and Los Angeles, Seattle police are preparing to test body cams on officers in the field. In an attempt to find a balance between releasing footage and redacting private details, Seattle police held a hackathon of Friday.
Discussion around whether law enforcement agents should wear body cams has surged in the months since the shooting of Michael Brown. And as funding comes through for pilot programs, it's increasingly important to answer question about how these devices will be implemented.
Wisconsin State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says that putting body cameras on police would almost always vindicate police officers accused of using excessive force, but taxpayers' money would be better spent elsewhere. I'm not sure "almost always" would be the case but the evidence suggests that body cameras would result in fewer complaints against officers and less use of excessive force.