There had been plans to start equipping SDPD officers with uniform cameras in 2015. In the wake of another scandal involving an officer and sexual misconduct with female suspects, soon to be retired Chief William Lansdowne had asked the City Council to provide funding to get the cameras going right away. That has been approved and soon to be Chief Shelley Zimmerman has also gone on record saying she fully supports the plan.
Cameras on cops is good news for almost everyone. They are good for the police. They will help record interviews and crime scenes making for more accurate reports and evidence leading to more solid cases against suspects.
They are good for citizens. Whether it is preventing sexual misconduct, excessive abuse, the cameras decrease problems with the police. And, it works both ways. Police can be subjected to manufactured accusations. The cameras will cover their butts, too. Further, police are human. They sometimes make mistakes in their observations and even sometimes fabricate facts. The cameras help ensure the truth comes out in criminal cases.
The legal community is helped greatly as well. Both Defense attorneys and prosecutors should be happy with the cameras. They all want the guilty people found guilty and the innocent people exonerated. The cameras should help in a lot of cases, because we will not be left to what the cop said happened versus what the suspect says happened. They especially help Defense attorneys. If the camera shows your client is guilty, it makes it much easier to explain why your client needs to plead and not go to trial. When the cameras show they are innocent, that is great for the Defense.
Now, the cameras will be bad news for criminals who are caught on camera and for police who would prefer to fabricate reports. But, is there anyone who really cares about those two groups?