Los Angeles will purchase 7,000 cameras for police officers to wear while on patrol, making the city a laboratory in the use of devices that bring the promise of more transparent policing as well as concerns about civilian privacy, the Los Angeles Times reports. Los Angeles would be the first major city to use the cameras on a wide scale. Police departments have been increasingly studying the cameras after the fatal shooting of a black teenager by a white officer in Ferguson, Mo., and the contradictory accounts of what happened.
“The trust between a community and its police department can be eroded in a single moment,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti, who added that all the LAPD cameras should be in place by July 2016. “Cameras are not a panacea, but they are a critical part of the formula.” The department has been testing video systems to monitor officer behavior for several years, with mixed results. A high-profile effort to place cameras in patrol cars has been marred amid years of delays and revelations that officers tampered with the cameras to avoid being recorded.