Rep. Reginald Bolding, D-Phoenix (District 27), is urging police departments across the state to use a new online body-worn camera toolkit recently published by Arizona State University professors.
“This toolkit offers an important opportunity for police departments in Arizona and across the nation,” Bolding said. “The professors who developed it understand this issue well.”
One of the authors of the toolkit was also the primary researcher in a study of the use of body-worn cameras that spanned 15 months. The study’s findings showed that cameras:
- Increased productivity significantly
- Decreased the number of complaints against officers wearing the cameras
- Increased officer accountability
- Increased the effectiveness of criminal prosecution
Bolding is a vocal advocate for the use of body-worn cameras.
“I’ve had many conversations with people in my district who are concerned about the number of police-involved shootings,” Bolding said. “And I have talked to law enforcement officers who want the public to be more engaged in protecting their communities. The use of body-worn cameras helps foster a more trusting relationship between law enforcement officers and the community.”
Earlier this year, Bolding introduced a bill, HB 2511, that would have required local and state law enforcement officers to wear body cameras while on duty, to ensure both their own safety and the safety of the communities they protect. It would have also established a study committee for law enforcement officer use of body-worn cameras. While Bolding’s bill did not pass, the Legislature did approve a Senate bill that created a study committee similar to the one Bolding proposed. Bolding said he expects the committee will recommend the use of the new toolkit.
“The practice of wearing body cameras speaks directly to the safety and accountability needs of both community members and law enforcement officers,” Bolding said. He added that he intends to offer a bill to require the use of body-worn cameras again next year.
To see a full version of HB 2511, go to http://www.azleg.gov/DocumentsForBill.asp?Bill_Number=2511&Session_Id=114&image.x=0&image.y=0.
Originally Posted on: azhousedemocrats.com on May 21, 2015.
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