Ariz. lawmaker proposes bill to equip all officers with body cameras
Recent studies have shown that police officers wearing body cameras tend to get fewer complaints filed against them.
With public and political pressure on, state lawmakers are trying to figure out the best way to move forward.
"Body cameras are something that will take place during this legislative cycle," said Rep. Reginald Bolding. He introduced legislation that would require officers to wear the body camera while on duty, but it doesn't state how to pay for the cameras. "We put our money in things that we prioritize, and we hope that Representatives and Senators in the legislature prioritize public safety."
Other bills regulating the use of body cameras have been discussed at the capitol too.
"I think that because of the political climate right now, people are being hasty in the terms of the implementation," said Joe Klure with the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association.
Klure represents one of the unions representing Phoenix Police officers. He says there are many unanswered questions, like how often and in what situations should an officer record.
In Phoenix, a study of officers wearing body cameras found that complaints dropped more than 20 percent. And in a similar study complaints in Mesa dropped nearly 50 percent.
"I didn't always believe this, but since seeing them out there and talking with the officers who have used them, they are really a non-issue and most of the time are very beneficial to the officers," he said.
The study also showed conviction rates were higher in cases where officers were wearing body cameras.