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Body Cameras for Troopers Protect All (1116 responses; 12/7/2014)

Thursday, January 8, 2015 11:10
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(Before It's News)

By Jacquelyn Benson

Following the highly publicized police shooting of an unarmed citizen in Ferguson MO, President Barak Obama announced a plan to partially fund the distribution of body cameras to police across the nation. The effort was echoed in New Hampshire by a proposed bill that would require state police offers to wear such cameras. In the wake of these events, on December 7 the Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) asked its Facebook members to weigh in on whether they thought New Hampshire's state troopers should be required to wear these devices.


A 77% majority of those directly responding to the question agreed with efforts to require state police to wear body cameras, while 32% disagreed. Of the total number of respondents, 32% opted not to answer the question, but instead discussed broader issues. The LFDA received 366 specific comments and 305 concurrences. The question was asked again on 12/29 as part of the LFDA's yearly review, garnering an additional 180 specific comments and 265 concurrences, with an even stronger 84% majority in favor of cameras. In sum, the LFDA received a grand total of 1116 citizen responses to the question.


Many of those in favor of the use of body cameras said their use would benefit not only members of the public, but also the police themselves, particularly from false accusations of abuse or brutality. “This will not only protect citizens but the officers as well,” one respondent said. Others noted that police “shouldn't be afraid if they have nothing to hide,” and argued that “on the job means on the record.” Several suggested that local officers should also be required to wear cameras.


Those opposed to the requirement argued that videotaped incidents made little difference in legal terms. “Why bother if video footage doesn't matter in court?” one commenter asked. Others held that the cameras weren't needed here in New Hampshire. “Is there a problem in NH that needs to be addressed? Doesn't seem like it,” one poster argued. “It's not necessary and a ridiculous expense. The NH State Police are very professional,” another said.


Those choosing to address their comments to broader issues also debated the cost of the devices and their value or effectiveness, with some suggesting that there might be better ways of addressing issues related to police brutality. “How about you change the way cops are trained in the first place?” one poster suggested. “Cameras are a bandage. If you get to the point you think you need them, you already have a larger issue of trust between your police and your community,” argued another. Others suggested that police themselves be asked to weigh in on the question. “I'd ask the troopers how they feel about it.”


The nonprofit, nonpartisan LFDA takes no position on this or any other issue, as this report is presented as a summary of citizen testimony. As New Hampshire's Virtual Town Hall, the LFDA community, numbering over 49,000, provides objective information on state issues, promotes the civil exchange of opinions, and communicates views to elected officials. To learn more about this issue or the LFDA, visit


Jacquelyn Benson is an editor with the Live Free or Die Alliance.


Live Free or Die Alliance


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