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Should Police Officers Be Allowed To Buy Their Own Body Cameras?

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Some police officers around the country are beginning to spend their own money on body cameras to use on the job to protect themselves for charges of wrongdoing. In Boise, Idaho supporters of department-wide body cameras say crime may increase with population growth, so officers need to be prepared.

“I work in criminal justice so I kind of see what’s going on from a stand point behind the scenes,” said Angela Moisan, a Boise resident. “It’s definitely getting bigger and it’s going to get worse throughout the years if they don’t do something.”

But Boise resident Joel Fadel says the body cameras could raise privacy concerns.

“In domestic violence situations and you have a camera there, you’re dealing with really touchy situations and personal things,” Fadel said.

The Canyon County Sheriff’s Office has been using body cameras for nine years. They say the real challenge of body cameras and the biggest price tag come with the storage and security of all the video data.

Captain Dana Maxfield says if a department doesn’t have a secure storage system for all that video data, new problems could arise.

“How was it stored? Has it been tampered with? Has it been modified in any way? All of those things are questions that would come up if you’re just downloading it to a personal file,” Maxfield said.

The Sheriff’s Office has a full-time employee to monitor all digital evidence.

“As an agency, if we don’t have something in place that will be able to guarantee that what is recovered on that camera is able to be presented or used in some form, then it’s an absolute waste for him to buy it,” Maxfield said.

The Canyon County Sheriff’s Office says its transition to using body cameras was easy and is looking to buy updated versions cameras soon.

(Written by , Originally published by KBOI)

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