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Privately Funded LAPD Body-Camera Program Could Be Blueprint For Cities

Publication Date: 
November 13, 2013
Daily Journal
Hamed Aleaziz

Professor John Donohue is mentioned by The Daily on the issue with policing small towns as opposed to large cities with major drug, gangs, and crime problems. 

Los Angeles recently became the latest city to explore outfitting its police officers with a new piece of technology: body cameras that record an officer's everyday interactions with civilians, from the most mundane traffic stop to life-and-death emergencies. Among many other potential benefits, experts say, the new tech could allow officers to document evidence that may exonerate them from claims of misconduct, decrease the number of incidents in which police use force, and even protect the rights of those arrested and charged with a crime. But the cameras also raise new challenges, such as privacy concerns and a possible chilling effect on police interaction with the community.

Other, smaller California cities such as Oakland and Rialto have already made forays into wearable cameras. But Los Angeles, as the largest city in the state to adopt the technology and a home to some of the most turbulent police activity, will be a new test for body cameras and could influence decisions by other major urban centers whether to follow suit.


"It's a very different world in policing small towns versus areas with major drug gangs and crime problems," said John Donohue, a Stanford Law School professor. "That's where this could really alter the nature of policing in a way we're not quite sure what the impacts are going to be."