The need to introduce body-worn camera program

Body Worn Camera 24.jpeg File photo of a body-worn camera

Sat, 5 Feb 2022 Source: Abdul-Razak Lukman

One of the most significant issues of this modern developing world of technology is to examine, in greater detail, how crime can be fought leveraging on the ever-growing technology. As innovation and technology improve, criminals, do find every available means to be at par with it.

In this sense, and for what happened last night between a law enforcement officer on duty and the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Sekondi-Takoradi, it leaves no traces of doubt that your institution is thirsty for body-worn cameras to help fight crime in the country.

It must be noted that footage of body-worn cameras isn't perfect but it is much more reliable than eyewitness recollection.

Assuming the MCE who had an altercation and near 'fisticuff' with the law enforcement officer on duty were left without any video narration of what took place. The witnesses at the scene will each tell a different story of what happened. Probably, none of the witnesses are intentionally lying but the weight of evidence against the lesser power will actually be greater.

The implementation of a body-worn camera will definitely force officers to watch what they say and how they act. It will take a marginal officer and force them to become better. And same is it to identify unprofessional and lazy officers.

Relating it to what happened last night, it will protect law enforcement officers against false claims and the general public as well. The human faculty is programmed such that when you know you are being watched, you behave a little better. That is just human nature.

As the law enforcement institution is a developing one, the introduction of a body-worn camera program will aid in training new and veteran officers. Both in reviewing an individual officer's interactions with a trainer, and would provide a vast supply of examples to draw from for training.

The Police are friends with the general public and are working for the general good of the public and should be held accountable to the public. Not public opinion, rather the laws they work under. And so, they should be provided with the requisite infrastructure so as not to allow some "power-drunk" public officers to abuse them unfairly. Because it will overwhelmingly support the officer’s account of whatever transpires.

Records have it that almost all cases of successful punishment of misbehavior by police, have been as a result of video evidence. This is true in the UK as well as the USA. We don't often have unprofessional shoots but we have far, far too many cases of unlawful arrest.

It is a known fact that people love to be videoed when they are doing the right thing and such is the opposite of what happened last night. If you are following the Constitution, the law, and department policy and procedure then why would you care who is videotaping you?

The sooner every law enforcement officer has a body camera, the sooner all the claims of systemic brutality will be shown for what they are, as well as the misconduct towards Law Enforcement Officers.

I am a citizen of Ghana and a libertarian with minimal conservative views empowered by progressivism.

Columnist: Abdul-Razak Lukman