Arrest Of OKC Officer Highlights Benefits Of Body Cameras

Friday, August 22nd 2014, 8:11 am
By: News 9

An Oklahoma City police officer was arrested Thursday after being accused of committing sex crimes while on duty.

8/21/2014 Related Story: Woman Who Sparked OCPD Officer Investigation Speaks Out

Daniel Ken Holtzclaw, was arrested at 3 p.m. in the parking lot of Gold's Gym near Memorial and Penn. One of Holtzclaw’s victims spoke to News 9 and said she hopes other victims might have the courage to come forward.

8/21/2014 Related Story: OCPD Officer Arrested For Alleged Rape, Sexual Battery

It's one of those cases that highlights the benefits of putting body cameras on all police officers. There're a lot of people saying the best witness in any case is a camera.

We know some local police departments have been looking into adding body cameras to patrol officers, but it's something they're moving forward with in Dallas, Texas. The police department there is making a $1 million investment in officer accountability.

Police Chief David Brown has roughly 2500 officers on the streets of Dallas. By early next year, he plans to spend a little over $1 million to arm around 10 to 15 percent with body cameras.

Chief Brown said the first cameras will go to rookies graduating from the academy, and then to officers with a history of complaints for excessive force or verbal abuse.

Brown hopes the cameras don't just capture police interactions but improve them. He believes the cameras will increase public confidence in police.

Brown said when they capture officers misbehaving it will make it easier to discipline or fire them.

In fact, a recent poll shows the majority of Americans are in favor of police body cameras. A survey found 74 percent of Americans believe officers should be required to wear body cameras, 80 percent said the cameras would prevent excessive force, and 77 percent said they would feel safer.