Liability Risks & Rewards of the Police Body Camera

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Liability Risks & Rewards of the Police Body Camera

 

Liability Risks & Rewards of the Police Body Camera

 

Police body cameras are becoming the norm. The cameras promise increased security, but threaten privacy. Although there are many possible risks, most believe that the benefits of the camera will outweigh the costs. In fact, President Obama is backing the use of police body cameras. Obama announce in December 2014 that he would provide funding for 50,000 police body cameras.

The proposed budget to fund these 50,000 cameras is $236 million. This money will not only be used for cameras, but it will also pay for training and community outreach programs. Obama announced that he is providing the funding in hopes that these police body cameras will help repair trust between local communities and police agencies. The amount will not pay for the entirety of the project, but rather, will be used to match up to 50% of spending by state and local police departments on body-worn cameras and storage for the equipment (Sink).

The financial backing of the federal government is a sign that these police body cameras will become widely used, and will eventually become standard police officer equipment. With national use of the horizon, it is important to understand the liability implications. There are possible risks and rewards for both citizens and police agencies.

 

Risks:

  •  Body camera footage will make it easier for negligent or erroneous acts to be discovered
  • Persons recorded by a police body camera can file an invasion of privacy suit

 

Rewards:

  •  The use body cameras may contribute to a decline in police “use-of-force” incidents
  • Footage from the police body cameras can provided useful evidence
  • On-the-job footage can assist in police training

 

In this ever changing world of Police Professional Liability you will want someone in your corner to help walk you through your client’s needs. Call one of our PGU professional experts today:

 

  • Ned Daly- 804.272.8060
  • Grey Lester- 804.272-5964
  • Dana Fawver- 804.272.7405
  • Will Shumadine- 804.272.9210
  • Peyton Judy- 804.727.4317

 

 

References:

 

Brownyard, Tory. “Liability and Insurance Implications of Body Cameras.” Liability and Insurance             Implications of Body Cameras. Asis International, 17 Mar. 2015.

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Liability-and-Insurance-Implications-of-Body-Cameras.aspx

 

Feeney, Matthew. “Police Body Cameras Raise Privacy Issues for Cops and the Public.” Cato Institute.     12 Feb. 2015.

http://www.cato.org/blog/police-body-cameras-raise-privacy-issues-cops-public

 

Sink, Justin. “Obama to Provide Funding for 50,000 Police Body Cameras.”The Hill. Capitol Hill    Publishing Corp., 1 Dec. 2014.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/225583-obama-to-provide-funding-for-50000-police-body-cameras