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It’s one thing to wear the body cameras; and another thing entirely
to

  1. Keep the camera on and recording video frames
  2. Obtain and maintain fully functional data storage for the video
  3. Develop a secure video database for all images and metadata
  4. Respect privacy rights during operation of the camera
  5. Respect privacy rights with regard to archived or stored video or metadata
  6. Guarantee that no violation of due process can be hazarded in re (3)..(5)
  7. Ensure that the Freedom of Information Act is not proscribed or hampered

One main objective of this program should be obvious. This is to protect
police from bold-faced liars. It is not so obvious that the same protection could
very well benefit the populace in general.

With the widespread tendency toward militarization of the police in this country, though, it would be wise to take some care to clarify issues involving the concept of protocols and of what is ordained as chain-of-command:

  • Protocols should be restricted to chain-of-command decision-making and action, and their primary purpose should be to ensure that subsequent review (of tactics or actions by police) will have been thus provided a consistent framework for analysis by means of which fairness to all persons involved may be achieved.
  • The view that the populace is at the bottom of the police chain-of-command and have no recourse, legal or otherwise, to prevent torts or crimes against them or to seek redress, should be abolished.

Misapplication of protocols paralyzes decision-making by automatizing
evaluation and deferring or debilitating discussion; and in a crisis the
consequences of this could render people helpless or excessively vulnerable in
an instance where

  • the protocol specifications were incomplete or inadequate, or
  • the protocol was hastily adopted before all possible problematic
    issues with it were accounted for, or

what was needed was not a protocol but, instead, a knowledgeable and qualified agent to take charge of the situation and quickly make the correct decisions or judgements in response to it.

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