Following the recent violence in Ferguson, Mo., and shootings by police in Utah, the website Utah Policy commissioned a Dan Jones poll on how Utahns feel about related issues. Utah Policy’s report says,
More than 8 out of 10 Utahns think police officers should be required to wear body cameras or other recording devices, but they’re split over whether cops are too quick to use deadly or excessive force.
Utah police agencies are already adding body cameras. In fact, the officer who shot and killed a man Aug. 11 in a 7-Eleven parking lot was wearing one, so that footage is part of the investigation. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, some officers want to wear a body cam enough that they are buying them with their own money.
So apparently the use of “cop cams” appeals to both the public and the police in Utah, though perhaps for varying reasons: documentation that protects the public, and documentation that backs up police actions.
Possible drawbacks to the body cameras include privacy issues and cost to taxpayers. But even the ACLU supports use of the cameras (although with strict privacy rules): “We’re against pervasive government surveillance, but when cameras primarily serve the function of allowing public monitoring of the government instead of the other way around, we generally regard that as a good thing.”
Click here to read about the poll at UtahPolicy.com.