Submitted by Former Selectman Drew Marzullo
This week, the BET Budget Chair abstained when casting her vote in support of purchasing police body cameras. She stated that there was not enough information in favor of their adoption, which I would like to address.
Myriad data from academia and government prove that law enforcement body-worn cameras, when used according to policy, offer protections for everyone involved in police interactions. Body cameras allow for an unbiased review of a law enforcement encounter, which allows for greater public transparency and better governance and liability mitigation.
According to the National Institute of Justice (a division of the Department of Justice), potential benefits of body-worn cameras are better transparency, increased civility during police interactions on both sides, quicker resolution of citizen complaints and lawsuits, corroborating evidence, and training opportunities for both law enforcement and community engagement. And, despite the voluminous amount of data collected from the cameras, there are multiple server- and cloud-based companies that easily and affordably handle such data for municipalities large and small.
We owe it to both our community and our law enforcement officers to insist on universal adoption of body-worn cameras. Anything less is doing a disservice to Greenwich citizens and the public servants who bravely protect us.