At a capital improvement projects meeting last week, the South Portland Police Department requested replacement body armor, tasers and body cameras. Body cameras are being used by the Farmington, Sabattus and Monmouth Police Departments. Winslow Police and the Piscataquis Sheriff's Office are in the process of getting body cameras as well. Body cameras being worn by police officers can be a win-win for officers and the public. They create police transparency and help protect the public against police misconduct, while protecting the officers from false accusations of abuse.

The ACLU has concerns about privacy issues. These are their concerns and recommendations:

  • recordings should be destroyed if there are no complaints
  • people who are not suspects should be able to request that the camera be turned off
  • residents in their own homes should be made aware that their interactions with police are being recorded
  • Tapes should not be made public to ridicule behavior. That has happened with some video from police cruiser cameras.

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