Could police body cameras help build trust between cops and the public?

“One month after the Minneapolis Police Department began testing body cameras, initial results suggest that they will be effective tools to gauge how police react when stopping someone on the street or responding to calls for help,” reports Tricia Volpe for MPR News and KARE 11.

But because officers can decide for themselves whether to turn the camera on or off, critics worry police might avoid turning the cameras on during difficult encounters.

Despite the concern, the 36 officers who volunteered to participate the pilot project have done a good job of using their discretion when operating the cameras, Deputy Chief Travis Glampe said.

In an update this week to members of the city’s Police Conduct Oversight Commission, a group charged with making recommendations about policies and procedures for wider use of body cameras, he said the pilot has been going well.

Volunteers have been testing the equipment and capturing many hours of video while on the job. Department officials are considering equipping all of its officers with the devices in the fall or winter of 2015.

Several video clips from the first weeks of the experiment show the perspective of the police officer who is wearing the body camera and microphone.

Today’s Question: Could police body cameras help build trust between cops and the public?