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Bodycams improving behaviour of citizens who are stopped by police

Police officers took the media for a ‘vehicle ride along’ to showcase the capabilities of their new vehicle video and body cameras. Photos: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

Police officers took the media for a ‘vehicle ride along’ to showcase the capabilities of their new vehicle video and body cameras. Photos: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

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Officers stopping an individual yesterday as they use their bodycams to record the encounter.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

POLICE officers outfitted with new body camera technology are encountering better behaved residents while wearing them.

“Ordinarily, 70 percent of people would be aggressive when encountered,” one officer said yesterday on the sidelines of a media ride-along with the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

“Now, when they see the vest, their behaviour is very different.”

The statement came as police took the media through a short tour of the inner city yesterday, demonstrating the use of the recently acquired body cameras.

The demonstration come in the wake of a significant lull in violent crime in the country, with a number of weeks passing without a murder.

“It’s important on both sides,” Commissioner Anthony Ferguson said of the body cameras.

“It gives balance. If there’s a report of irregularities on behalf of police we’ll be able to see that and vice versa.”

The police chief said users of the device are unable to turn it off.

“It’s set by a technician and that’s done for obvious reasons. We don’t want officers to be able to tamper with device while out on the road.”

He said if necessary, the footage will also be used in court cases.

Commissioner Ferguson added: “I can tell you that the officers are excited. I’ve spoken to any number of people in the community and they are excited to see the police advancing their level of technology. We in the police force, particularly the executives and all members, are excited because we believe this will help the police image-wise and boost public confidence with the police.

“When police interact with members of the public, they can be assured police will be behaving with the utmost level of professionalism and can be assured that police are truly our friends because they know when we speak we are speaking the facts and there can be no doubt about the actions.

“Once testing is done we will move to acquire this practice for all of our mobile units. As of this date, the same thing is going on in Grand Bahama and Abaco.”

Comments

mandela 6 years, 7 months ago

Makes a lot of sence, now the police car need cameras and that will go an extra way especially for court cases and help cut down the not guilty pleas when caught red-handed.

SP 6 years, 7 months ago

This is a good thing, especially for monitoring the bad apples on the force! Many officers are just plain ignorant and rude. People, in general, react to the police based on how they are approached. The cops knowing they are being recorded will now be more responsible and professional which is a welcomed change.

tell_it_like_it_is 6 years, 7 months ago

Did the police ever stop to think that the reason the public is better behaved is because the police are also better behaved toward the public when on camera? I agree that this will help both sides.

Not all officers are the same (but not all members of the public are criminals), the officers who might have been inclined to be rude will think twice. Therefore, when they are more pleasant to the general public, then the general public will also behave better.... "a kind word turns away wrath".

sealice 6 years, 7 months ago

How come the pigs can wear cameras but if we try to video them they take the phones and smash em into the ground???

Cas0072 6 years, 7 months ago

This is good news. I empathize with officers who are expected to treat the most unruly people with kid gloves. Sounds like this is worthwhile investment for all law enforcement agencies in The Bahamas. Immigration should be next.

baldbeardedbahamian 6 years, 7 months ago

Am I allowed to film the police when they stop me? It might improve their ,too often, rude behaviour.

Cas0072 6 years, 7 months ago

I say yes. At the end of the day, we are all in search of the truth before we make judgements. There are corrupt officers on the force and corrupt individuals who will tarnish officers simply to support criminals and criminality.

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