Target: Senator Charles Grassley and the Senate Judiciary Committee
Goal: Expand responsible use of police body cameras with federal funding and studies.
The use of body cameras by police officers could be both funded and studied if legislation is passed by the U.S. House and Senate. The bipartisan measure, the Police CAMERA Act of 2015, would essentially create a grant program to assist with the funding of body-worn cameras in local law enforcement agencies. Additionally, the act would also study whether the cameras have a positive impact on public confidence in law enforcement. Using existing funds, it would help local police departments rent or lease body cameras and mandate a study of their effect.
Accounts of excessive force used by police have recently been appearing across the nation and proving the need for greater accountability in the United State’s law enforcement. Incidents such as those that have occurred in Ferguson, Staten Island, Cleveland, etc., have the possibility to be prevented in the future with the implementation of body-worn cameras in police departments. Reports show that departments that have piloted the use of body-worn cameras for police have received fewer complaints against police and less incidents of excessive force.
According to Senator Rand Paul, a co-sponsor for the bill, “Body cameras will benefit the brave men and women who serve in our police force and the people they protect.” Although the Police CAMERA Act could have the ability to strengthen trust between law enforcement and their communities, the bill currently has only a three percent chance of getting past the Senate Judiciary Committee and being sent to the House or Senate.
In order to deter excessive force used by police, improve police accountability and transparency, and overall lessen complaints against officers, it is imperative that the Senate Judiciary Committee give the Police CAMERA Act a chance to move further along in the legislative process.
Dear Senator Charles Grassley and the Senate Judiciary Committee,
The Police CAMERA Act of 2015 would strengthen the trust between law enforcement and their communities and benefit our nation as a whole. This legislation would create a grant program to assist with the development of programs equipping police with body-worn cameras in local law enforcement agencies. The goal of the act is to deter excessive force used by police and improve accountability and transparency and has been proven to produce positive results.
Reports show that departments that have piloted the use of body-worn cameras for police have received fewer complaints against police and less incidents of use of excessive force. Allow the Police CAMERA Act a chance to be enacted and begin to improve upon complaints law enforcement around the nation has been facing.
A lot of support has already been shown for the Police CAMERA Act, which has been backed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Help begin to improve trust between local police and their communities and deter excessive force by allowing for the expansion of responsible use of police body cameras through the Police CAMERA Act.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Agencia Brasil