Ashley Roberts of Tampa Bay, Florida

Ashley Roberts of Tampa Bay is a retired police officer who agrees with the below current research on body camera usage since modern policing tech is such a hot-button topic in society.

Ashley Roberts agrees that many police officers feel body cameras have been crucial to protecting not only the officer but the civilians they serve as well. Ms. Roberts did concur with the suggested items of importance regarding the use and ways these cameras aid in the mission to protect and serve.

The body cameras on police officers may provide a fascinating window into police work for civilians, but is that their only use? The truth is the importance of body cameras for police officers goes much farther than the average YouTube video.

Body cameras worn by police officers are worn to improve the officer’s safety, provide higher quality evidence for cases, lower the agency’s liability in the case of false accusations of misconduct, and even lower the complaints of citizens.

Ashley Roberts of Tampa Bay, Florida is familiar with the body cameras used and that The Bureau of Justice Statistics issued a report in November of 2018 on why law enforcement agencies choose to use body cameras. These reasons included:

  • Increased Quality of Evidence in Cases
  • Lowered Complaints from Civilians
  • Improvement of Officer Safety
  • Lower the Liability of the AgencyIn the interest of exploring the importance of body cameras for police officers, these reasons are documented in depth for effectiveness below.

Increased Quality of Evidence in Cases

Ashley Roberts of Tampa Bay, Florida, concurs with the research she learned about and agrees that officers are becoming more comfortable with being equipped with body cameras due to the importance of video evidence of an encounter in a legal case.

It had been noted that law enforcement officers say that most forms of video footage count as lead evidence, which is defined as information that posits that a crime took place and allows lawyers to make a firm, educated guess on whether or not it actually happened.

Ashley Roberts of Tampa Bay, Florida agrees that though all evidence is subject to a judge’s acceptance before being presented to a jury, it is invaluable in terms of defense if an officer is accused of anything, and even more helpful in convicting suspects who are guilty.

Lowered Complaints from Civilians

There are a wide variety of decisions that must be made in the heat of the moment by police officers. Body cameras offer accountability, not just for the police officers, but for the claims and complaints of civilians who are involved in these often-difficult confrontations, and Ashley Roberts of Tampa Bay, Florida agrees with this statement.

In the year 2017, the court mandated that New York Police Department officers be studied according to the footage that their body cameras caught during their time on the job. This lasted from 2018 to the following year, and the public was allowed to observe how the officers conducted themselves when stopping citizens or making arrests. Not only did investigating stops increase rather than decrease, but the complaints that citizens submitted regarding the officer’s conduct actually went down by around 20%.

From this example, as well as many like it, it can be assumed that body cameras actually strengthen the relationship between a police officer and a citizen, facilitating trust.

Improvement of Officer Safety

According to an article written by a social science analyst, research suggests that a camera worn on the body of an officer actually causes civilians who are approached by officers to change the way that they behave.

Ashley Roberts of Tampa Bay, Florida agrees with the statement that just by being aware that they are being recorded during the confrontation or interaction, a citizen’s decision-making process is affected. Many agencies believe that not only does this keep officers and civilian situations from escalating to violence, but it also helps trainers to observe the footage and make necessary adjustments when training new recruits for the field.

Ashley Roberts of Tampa Bay, FloridaLower the Liability of the Agency

Ultimately, Ashley Roberts of Tampa Bay, Florida agrees that the use of a body camera calls into focus the policies of any given policy agency and allows the public a window into whether or not those policies are being carried out justly.

When a body camera catches an officer in the act of misconduct, the agency itself is given the opportunity to correct this problem.

The officers who do engage in misconduct cause the entire agency to become liable for legal action taken by their state or in some cases, the Supreme Court. However, if a case is being built against an officer for misconduct, the video evidence from their body cam can protect that agency.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, Ashley Roberts of Tampa Bay, Florida agrees with the research that police body cameras are important not just for the officers, but for the civilians they come into contact with, too. These body cameras have been proven to improve police officer relations with the people that they are sworn to serve simply by being present.

In addition, these cameras can lessen the liability of an agency, contribute to accountability in officers, and provide important lead evidence in criminal cases.

Overall, a body camera not only prevents situations from becoming more tense or dangerous but can provide a way to shore up trust between police officers and civilians who may not understand the difficult situations that law enforcement frequently encounters.