Elkhart is the latest Indiana police department to move forward with plans
to provide body cameras for all its officers. Along with the South Bend
department, Elkhart had been considering the body cameras for some time,
but last month received approved funding from city officials.
ABC 57 News reported the approval, noting that the city council was conservative with its budgeting
for the measure. Instead of the proposed $350,000, the council approved
$100,000 for the cameras— still enough to give all 80 officers in
the department their own camera.
"A lot of it has to do with transparency, we don't do anything
we need to hide," Chris Snyder of the Elkhart Department said. Councilman
Brian Dickerson implied that the measure provided mutual protection for
both citizens and officers: "I think we need to provide them [officers]
with as much protection as possible," he said.
The Future of Policing?
The issue of police body cameras has been hotly debated in the last few
months, following a number of high-profile police shootings of unarmed,
African-American men all over the U.S. As
Fox 28 reports, some parts of Indiana, like Walkerton, have already been using body cameras
for years. Walkerton Police Chief Matt Schalliol says that cameras have
reduced the amount of time his officers spend in court, have instantly
resolved some citizen disputes, and overall "just really take the
doubt out of things."
Whether or not police cameras come to South Bend remains to be seen, but
if currents trends persist, it could only be a matter of time. If they
do, it could radically change how criminal charges are evaluated, tried,
and defended in the courtroom.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime and are in need of
aggressive, thoughtful, and effective defense, we invite you to contact us at
Wruble Law Group. Our team of South Bend criminal defense lawyers has over two decades
of legal experience and are committed to protecting the rights of our
clients throughout every step of the judicial process.
Reductions and acquittals can be possible.
Start exploring your legal options with us today.