Chatham County Police Department in North Carolina Implements Body Cams

Dash cameras and body cameras are becoming a common feature in police departments across the country.

Although there are still some departments left who haven't made the transition, many are beginning to catch up with what is becoming an expected standard.

One department in North Carolina just adopted the use of body cams.

While dash cameras have been in use for some time now, body cams are a relatively new tech that has gained traction. The Chatham County Police Department in North Carolina recently decided it was time to be part of the growing trend.

Captain Chris Cooper, who conducted much of the research involved with acquiring body cams, stated that the department is "moving in the direction of what the public expects", according to The Herald Sun.

The department joins the growing ranks of officers using body cams. Of the 18,000 police departments in the United States in 2015, roughly one-third of them were using body cameras. That number has continued to increase with department transitions such as Chatham County.

However, many departments are still cautious of using body cameras.

The technology presents another dilemma of privacy versus safety and when the cameras should be activated during an officer's shift. Despite many positive aspects of using body cameras, such as department-public transparency, officer accountability, and public compliance, many people on both sides are hesitant.

The same argument was made years ago with the introduction of the dash camera system in police vehicles. Multiple departments waited to see how the incorporation of a surveillance system would work out with the public as well as within the departments.

Now, dash cams are used in primarily every department at both the state and county levels. The footage gained from these systems has been used as evidence in trials, visual proof of wrong or right doing, and a way to determine actual occurrences.

So if the ubiquitous use of dash cams are any indication of the future of body cameras, it won't be long before every department adopts the system.

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