Data and AI merge as law enforcement adopts body cameras tech.

March 1, 2024
1 min read


– Body-worn cameras have become crucial for law enforcement operations after national interest sparked by protests in Ferguson.

– San Diego County law enforcement officers are using over 4,000 body-worn cameras, costing more than $5 million annually.

– Research shows reductions in the use of force by police with body-worn cameras.

– The storage of video footage and the use of AI technology for analysis are key challenges faced by law enforcement agencies.


Fifteen years after the Escondido Police Department first experimented with body-worn cameras, and 10 years after protests in Ferguson, Missouri, sparked national interest, the technology has become vital to modern-day law enforcement operations. Since the time of Ferguson, ongoing debate about law enforcement transparency has led to the rapid expansion of body-worn cameras used by police and sheriff’s departments.

The use of body-worn cameras has brought about challenges in determining which videos should be reviewed immediately and securely storing millions of clips at increasing costs. Additionally, the implementation of an artificial intelligence program for reviewing video and audio has added another layer of complexity to the situation.

Research on the impact of body-worn cameras has shown statistically significant reductions in the use of force by police. Despite initial skepticism from officers, the cameras have been embraced as important tools for modern-day policing. However, the high cost of cameras and storage, as well as the sheer volume of video footage generated, present ongoing challenges for law enforcement agencies.

The use of AI technology, such as the Truleo system for analyzing police recordings, is a new development that may further impact the way body-worn cameras are utilized. While there may be concerns about potential privacy issues and efficacy of such systems, the interest in leveraging technology to enhance accountability in law enforcement is apparent.

Former prosecutor Damon Mosler suggests that streamlining the efficiency and costs of body-worn camera systems across San Diego County could be achieved through regional coordination and consolidation of decisions and expenditures. By learning from successful models like the Integrated Law and Justice Agency of Orange County, law enforcement agencies can potentially optimize the use of body-worn cameras and related technologies.

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