Another Drop in the Puddle of Police Departments That Use Body Cams: Dothan, Alabama PD

There are numerous police body camera benefits, and many departments are beginning to see that. The Dothan Police Department has adopted the use of body cameras for officers, making them another drop in the growing puddle of departments using the system.

The Alabama city of Dothan has crime just like any other city. The latest unofficial crime statistics for the city for the month of February 2017 reported 44 thefts, 33 burglaries, 29 assaults, 6 motor vehicle thefts, 2 robberies, 2 homicides, 1 arson, and 1 sexual assault according to the Dothan, Alabama official website.

About eight months ago, the Dothan Police Department decided to make the move to body cams. According to an article published by WTVY, Dothan Seargent David Schwab recently saw a report funded by the Department of Justice claiming the benefits of body cameras and wants to compare his results to those of the report. The department issued 135 cameras to its officers.

The figures of Schwab's study will be available in July, as soon as the department reaches a full year of department-wide body camera use.

However, Schwab is already noticing the police body camera benefits. According to WTVY, Schwab stated that "the evidence is just better ... we've had a number of cases cracked open because the body camera gets initial statements and then we catch people in lies later."

The study that Schwab plans to compare his results to found that officers who wore body cameras made more arrests, issued more citations, and had fewer conflicts in which they used force. The study also showed significant cost savings for departments by allowing for an easy and simpler resolution method to complaints.

The evidence that body cameras are improving public relations with departments, officer behavior, citizen cooperation, and much more, is overwhelming. The Rialto, California Police Department conducted an evaluation of body cameras and found a 60% drop in use of force by officers.

Dothan isn't the last department to adopt the use of body cam systems, either. Despite the growing popularity and substantial advantages of policy body cameras, many departments are still hesitant to make the transition. Some are watching to see how it plays out with the public, while others simply may not have the budget.

It's uncertain where body cams will go from here, but based on current trends and the history of dash cams, it will almost certainly be up.

For more police body camera benefits and information, contact 10-8 Video today.

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