Nevada may become the second state to require police officers to wear body cameras while they’re on duty.
Reuters reports that a bill was passed by state legislature and sent to the Governor for approval that makes the equipment standard for state and local police throughout the state. The only other state to sign such a measure is North Carolina, which did so in 2015.
“Providing every officer with a body camera protects officers while they’re on the job and engenders trust among the public,” state Senator Aaron Ford, the bill’s sponsor, told Reuters in an email.
If passed, this bill would build on a law already in practice in the state. Nevada Highway Patrol officers are currently using body cameras whenever they investigate a crime or stop a suspect.
In a time where police officers are regularly being criticized for killing citizens, often Black and unarmed, the use of body cameras is viewed as a benefit to both sides. If used properly – big if in some cases –, body cameras can provide validation to both citizens and officers in instances where hearsay and occasional witness testimonies were all court systems could depend on.
However, let it be clear. Adding body cameras won’t cure police violence against citizens. Will they help? Hopefully. But there’s still much more work to be done.