Watched by Cameras, Police and Citizens “Behave a Little Better”–CA Chief


Rialto, Ca., has become the poster city for police use of cameras, a measure intended to police the police, since a federal judge last week applauded its officer camera program in the ruling declaring New York City’s stop-and-frisk program unconstitutional, reports the New York Times. Rialto is one of the few places where the cameras’ impact has been studied systematically.

In the first year after the cameras were introduced in February 2012, the number of complaints filed against Rialto officers fell 88 percent. Use of force by officers fell by almost 60 percent. The Rialto Police Department believes the cameras are effective; starting Sept. 1, all 66 uniformed officers will be wearing a camera during every shift. William Farrar, Rialto police chief, said, “When you put a camera on a police officer, they tend to behave a little better, follow the rules a little better. And if a citizen knows the officer is wearing a camera, chances are the citizen will behave a little better.”

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