“I would be inadmissible if I did not say that it reduces frivolous lawsuits. Someone claims that the “DNR” did or said something wildly inappropriate, we go to court, and if we get the footage, it quickly stops the trial. “
Michigan police this year promised to install body cameras by the end of the year after a study found racial differences at traffic stops. On January 27, the State Chamber voted 71-31 to demand them for DNR officers who enforce laws related to state parks, fish and wildlife, trails and forests, and other activities.
DNR Director Dan Eichinger said he was not against TV cameras, but argued that the bill lacked instructions on funding, officers ’responsibilities and maintenance.
“There are no decisions that have been made, and there is no decision that is inevitable as to whether we will recommend or not recommend or require our officers to wear body cameras,” Eichinger said.
“Being against this or that law is not the same as resisting the cameras. I am not against transparency. “
Eichinger said the bill does not answer questions about managing information from the body’s camera, how to make data available during a trial, and how to fund equipment and storage.
The DNR has no staff or money to equip environmental protection officers with cameras, and the bill does not provide funding for the DNR, according to the fiscal agency of the House of Representatives.
Amy Trotter, executive director of the Michigan United Conservation Club, which represents more than 40,000 fishermen and hunters, said the organization has no position on the issue.
Seven states are now appointing their law enforcement officers use body cameras on duty: Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Carolina.
The effectiveness of body chambers was discussed
In recent years, after the killings of many black civilians at the hands of police, calls have intensified to turn on cameras. But more and more evidence shows that cameras are not a panacea.
According to statistics from the US Bureau of Justice, the main reasons why local police and sheriffs invest in body chambers are security, agency responsibility and evidence. But a January report of the National Institute of Justice says research does not show that body cameras have not helped agencies achieve these goals.
“While it is clear that video recordings, including video cameras, have played an important role in promoting the conversation about police responsibility, the evidence of whether body cameras are an effective tool for actual police responsibility is ambiguous at best,” the ACLU concluded in a Report for 2021.
The Civil Liberties Group refers to the review 70 studies who found that the use of body cameras did not reduce the use of force by the police.
Reports show that in some cities, such as Phoenix, body cameras have not reduced the use of force and resistance by civilians. Other cities, including Las Vegas, report that the use of a body camera has led to reduced trial times and more arrests.
Concern for cost
Cost can be a problem in Michigan.
As a rule, states declare grants that can cover 30 to 50 percent annual cost of equipment and digital storage. Connecticut created a $ 10 million grant program to fund cameras worn by law enforcement.