Police in the Monroe area have been issued body cameras through a government grant that aims to increase transparency and accountability among local law enforcement.
Louisiana parish department will now equip all officers with body cameras
The Concordia Parish Police in northeast Louisiana have been given a grant by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the purchase of body cameras. The cameras were to be issued approximately a month after the news release.
The chief deputy expressed excitement regarding the upgrade and future possibilities for the use of the cameras. He believes that they will help solve crimes, increase public safety, and assist department administration. The specific model camera that will be used is capable of taking high definition footage, which will be especially helpful during reviews of interactions and capturing crime scenes. All footage from these cameras will be downloaded at the sheriff’s office at the end of each shift and stored for future use if necessary. A date, time, and officer serial number will be associated with all of the video files.
Most importantly, the department plans to use the footage to evaluate citizen complaints against an officer. The footage should give a clear answer as to whether the officer abused their authority or used excessive force during an encounter. The officers will also be given performance evaluations based on how they handle various situations. Programs may be planned along with the evaluations for educational or training purposes.
One deputy commented that they have already been informed that traffic stops and other common encounters will be reviewed by various personnel along the chain of command. The chief is optimistic that the video evidence should be more accurate than testimony, but he still has some concerns. There is also the possibility that cameras may be cut off at times either due to malfunctions or officer misconduct, and it may be difficult to tell what happened at these times.
The use of body cameras is increasing throughout the country
Body cameras have become the favored way to detect police misconduct in most departments in the United States. Officers are required to have these devices turned on at all times while they are on duty, so that their actions can be reviewed for compliance with law enforcement protocols. Many cities have also updated their law enforcement policies to account for the review of video footage if a citizen makes a complaint. Officers can be disciplined for turning their cameras off at inappropriate times to hide their behavior.
Talk with a police brutality attorney in your city
There are lawyers who focus on cases of police misconduct in Monroe and surrounding parts of Louisiana. Campbell, House, and Company Attorneys at Law serve clients in the state with aggressive representation.