There used to exist a time when on public security operatives made use of the body-worn cameras, but in recent times even private officers and securities have been seen to be even using this piece of technology. A lot of law enforcement agencies are beginning to see the body camera as a way to build community trust, provide evidence that can be verified and hold officers accountable for their actions. Now many police departments have absorbed this and it’s quickly becoming law in some states. In the next few years, it will be widely accepted, this is much believed and expected.
A lot of private security companies have been seen to adopt the process but it’s been slow, why is it? Well, there have been major challenges mostly in terms of Necessity and Money.
Cost of running
With new and emerging technology, the cost of having an officer equipped with body cameras is gradually becoming easily affordable. But this, as a matter of fact, isn’t insignificant, we see that public force can easily tip the funds required for it through government grants and other formalities but this is very impossible for private security agencies. And as we know that the cost of maintaining them gradually becomes larger than before becoming far greater than the cost of initially acquiring them. This becomes very problematic and brings a lot of challenges especially when we have to deal with the maintenance and storage aspect.
When we look at the main reason private security companies are being run, we see it’s just like any other business where the main aim is always the profit-making. When private security agents sit and ask themselves how much worth the body-worn camera bringing is, they start to figure it doesn’t bring much and it definitely doesn’t pay their business (profit wise).
It’s gradually being understood that body-worn cameras can be a very great training tool to make security agents better at their duties. But before giving them the cameras to use, there has to be some special training for this piece of technology. It isn’t enough to just give it to any officer and request they go use it, there has to be prior understanding and a particular set of rules bound to using it. This especially includes the privacy aspect, it is very important privacy isn’t breached. The policies on use (when to on and off) are very important even though it might just sound very basis and unimportant. It is also important to inform people they are being recorded, it is also very important to teach the security agents how to upload and download the data from the cameras. All these training are bound to incur costs and private companies don’t see any point in doing this, they often feel it’s a way to expend funds on something not so important. As wrong as it may sound, private companies mostly just give rudimentary and basic training that at least covers the country and states law to their personnel.
Problem with the law
A lot of lawsuits are filed against security officers yearly, with the aid of body-worn cameras. It is easy to settle disputes and address these cases with video proofs. Private security officers are not immune from these suits since the nature of their own job is quite different from that of a public officer they get less lawsuit filed against them. It is statistically seen that police usually end up having to use force the majority of the time. As for private police, research conducted hasn’t really been able to show that they use force or people. This is pretty much understandable after getting the fact that they do not make a daily arrest or have to investigate like a public police officer has to. Private security even has a “hands-off” policy that prevents them from touching anyone. With the type of activities the private securities are involved in, it is very hard to bring out a type of case that could attract a lawsuit or probably a false arrest.
Invading a person’s privacy simply means interfering with a person’s right to be left alone, a lot of security firms are now concerned with the fact that evidence from body cameras could make their overall liability high. It makes these firms feel that their recordings could be intrusive on privacy and breaching some laws somewhere. In most cases there is that feeling that even the recording on its own could be dangerous for the case, naturally, it should be meant to just exonerate or prove innocence. Since law enforcement now sees footages as evidence that can shut up a case and proof whatever anyone claims quickly while also bearing down the cost.
Firm owners, however, know that they do not give enough training, hence it won’t be surprising if there is a problem especially when they know their personnel is limited in skills and ability, they begin to fear the fact that a negligent or incorrect act can be discovered and proven even with their video evidence. It is one of the key points in using body-worn cameras to be well trained and to act appropriately, these are very important keywords. However, security managers already know their guards will not do well since they were not properly trained for this. This often becomes a really bothersome issue, they mostly ask their guards to watch and report but take no action against violent, angry, dissatisfied or high on drugs individual. Some even go as far as telling their security agents to take to their heels or dial 911 when a situation gets out of control.
Understanding what needs be done
It is very important to understand the use of body cameras, this is to avoid getting trouble with the public. The role of any security agent is to serve, service could either be to the public or to whoever hires them. But many times, due to the kind of jobs private securities are given such as watchman, customer service or even visual deterrence. There is often no need to equip them with a body-worn camera.