Over 10,000 Criminal Cases Handled in the Denver Area

Highway patrol to have body cameras in 2023

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

The Colorado Highway Patrol announced that it would begin issuing body cameras to officers in the middle of 2022, with the full implementation scheduled for February 2023. The CHP’s website cites many benefits of employing the Axon BWC program, including better accountability, gathering evidence, promoting professionalism, and transparency.

Becoming commonplace

Law enforcement across the country is utilizing body camera technology with increasing frequency. There were initial concerns about the costs to departments to operate and maintain the equipment, but those concerns seem to have faded. Critics were also concerned about officers somehow weaponizing the cameras by strategically turning them on and off.

Recent studies, however, refute those initial concerns. According to NPR, safety experts and world economists argue that the technology is beneficial and cost-effective, citing a recent University of Chicago Crime Lab and the Council on Criminal Justice’s Task Force on Policing, which did a broad survey of recent studies.

Important findings include:

  • A 17% drop in the number of complaints against law enforcement who use cameras
  • A 10% drop in the use of force by officers in fatal and non-fatal encounters when there are cameras

The Derek Chauvin factor

The murder of George Floyd was documented on witnesses’ phones at the scene in Minneapolis. That footage went viral, setting off upheaval around the globe. However, the prosecution in the murder and manslaughter trials of Chauvin and three other officers also extensively used officers’ body cameras to present damning evidence from several different and close-up angles unavailable to onlookers. This helped with the success of their case.

More to learn

Recent information regarding body cameras is positive, but other issues could arise in the future. Those who have encounters with law enforcement where they believe their rights were violated can speak with a criminal defense attorney. These legal professionals understand the uses and misuse of the cameras and can help the accused hold officers accountable for their actions.