Last week Governor Tom Corbett signed Senate bill 57 into law. One of the changes it makes to the State's wire tap law is that it authorizes police officers to put recording devices on their motorcycles, bicycles and bodies. For some time, police departments all over the state have been making use of cameras mounted in police cruisers.
Across the country, these officer mounted cameras have been growing in popularity. Under the new legislation, police departments in Pennsylvania will be allowed to make use of the new technology. The idea is to record interactions between police officers and members of the public as they are taking place. Supporters of the change say the cameras will allow officers to do a better job of collecting evidence while in the field.
"That type of evidence gained from the tool is absolutely invaluable. Not only to protect the department and the individual officers from civil liability but for the evidentiary purposes for the courtroom prosecution."
While the Pittsburgh police department already has some cop cams ready to go into service, the big issue for the Altoona police department will be coming up with some way to pay for the new equipment before these officer mounted cameras can be put into service that department.
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