- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

There will be some fact finding on a complex but important subject: A Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism will hold a hearing Tuesday titled “Body Cameras: Can technology increase protection for law enforcement officers and the public?”  Surveys already find that both police and public favor the use of the cameras.

“I believe that body-worn cameras will keep both law enforcement officers and citizens safer, while providing invaluable evidence for potential investigations. I look forward to continuing our efforts to find the best path forward on this issue at the hearing,” said Sen. Tim Scott, South Carolina Republican, and the main force behind the inquiry.

The public “overwhelmingly” supports body-worn cameras according to a new YouGov poll, which found that 88 percent of Americans favored the idea, a sentiment shared almost equally by Democrats and Republicans alike. The question has been circulating for years, however. Even in 2012, a PoliceOne.com/Taser International survey of 785 law enforcement professionals found that 77 percent agreed that “the body-worn solution is more effective” than dashboard cameras; another 86 percent said the body cameras reduced false claims and litigation.

Mr. Scott initially proposed the hearing late last month in a letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham, chairman of the judiciary subcommittee,  and Sen. Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“I understand that there are multiple and complex questions surrounding the use of body cameras, including privacy concerns, data retention and disclosure issues, and the effect of recording on community relationships. IT is essential that we explore these and other concerns as we foster a national discussion on body-worn cameras at a public hearing in Congress,” Mr. Scott wrote.

C-SPAN3 will cover this hearing at 2:30 p.m. ET. and it will be streamed live at the committee website here

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