Mandated Recording and Transparent Release of All Police Contacts




Ventrca, Clinton J

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



In this age of immediate information, social media, and 24-hour news cycles, people have come accustomed to and demanding of quick information. Too often in controversial police encounters, bad information based on speculation permeates public opinion before correct and confirming information is released by law enforcement. Often, the best available evidence to quickly release in times of extreme civil unrest comes from video of the event, especially video captured on a body worn camera. The research in this paper will clearly show convincing evidence that there should be mandates that all law enforcement related contacts be audio and video recorded when practical and the recordings should be released as soon as practical for transparency in cases of extreme civil unrest. This paper examines how two high profile law enforcement encounters had starkly different results due to the lack of video in one event and the quick release of video and information in the other. It will also show how the use of body worn cameras has proven to lower police complaints and clear officers of wrong doing. Mandates on the recording of all law enforcement encounters and releasing the recordings for transparency will build public trust and that is a win-win for everyone.


Police-- community relations, wearable video devices in police work, Police and mass media