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Body Cams Finding Their Way Onto Police Force

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MADELIA, Minn. -

In an effort to save time and money for his department, Madelia Police Chief Rob Prescher picked up GoPro-style camera for his officers at $300 a pop.

It cut down on time in court for the officers, as well as making the job easier for county prosecutors.

And police view it as a way to protect themselves from the selective editing of those recording them.

Prescher says, "With cell phones out there now, you can put videos on youtube, so we're looking for a way to get the full picture."

Mankato's police department has looked at purchasing a similar product for their officers. They have equipped their squad cars with multiple cameras and audio recording on the officer.
 
Director of Mankato Public Safety Todd Miller says, "If there's a complaint against an officer, if there is video, we can clear that up with one meeting with the complainant, we can pull up the video, show it, and resolve the situation."

Body cams appear to protect everyone involved. A study of the Rialto Police Department out in California found that use of force dropped 60% after equipping all officers with the cams. And complaints against officers dropped by 88%.

Leaving the only arguments against them being the price tag, and the issue of privacy.

Miller says, "There's the other side, the privacy side. Big Brother is coming in to my home and filming everything I have in my home. Some citizens are against it."

But it may become too difficult to argue with the data.