- - Sunday, February 5, 2017

“Oklahoma sheriff seeking body cameras after 2015 fatal shoot” (Web, Jan. 31) reports on the push to have police officers wear body cameras in an effort to bring accountability to those officers who use excessive force.

I think the move is a bit short-sighted. The piece quotes Sheriff Vic Regalado as saying “Body cameras are not the cure-all, but they are certainly a big step in alleviating a lot of those issues.” The article does not touch on how the cameras will be used to reduce violence.

There are cases where there is actual footage, from bystanders, of police violence, but the filming has apparently done nothing to deter the violence from continuing. So recording alone will not solve the issue.

I believe that police should have these body cameras, but that they should also have to later watch the footage from the cameras. Perhaps all police officers will watch select footage as a unit; perhaps each officer will watch it by himself or herself, or with local citizens. However the footage is viewed, watching it and discussing it afterward can help them learn from it. Then, as they go back out into the field, they will have a better sense of how they look to the people they are charged with protecting.

When I see a recording of myself, I get a different perspective. I can see and understand things that I could not see or understand in the moment. The officers could do the same to help change their ways and reduce unnecessary force and violence. I know this is a very complicated issue, but I truly believe that awareness of both police and citizens is a step in the right direction.


Glastonbury, Conn.

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