Body cams a welcome tool for police

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Law enforcement agencies in the Twin Counties are slowly starting to embrace technology that can keep communities safer and make good police officers better.

Body cameras have drawn national attention in the wake of police shootings in places like Ferguson, Mo. The unblinking camera offers a cop’s-eye view of incidents as they unfold. But more often than not, body cams probably will give interested viewers a glimpse of routine professionalism by everyday cops on the beat.

As Telegram staff writer Brie Handgraaf reported Sunday, police and deputies in Nash and Edgecombe counties are beta-testing cameras before they make a commitment to buy one for every officer. Here’s hoping they make up their minds quickly.

As Edgecombe County Sheriff James Knight said, “Body cameras will increase accountability and improve the performance of officers as well as the conduct of citizens who are recorded.”

We could not agree more. We also urge local departments and local governments to regard body cam footage as part of the public record. We will have more to say on that matter in a future editorial.

In the meantime, we are happy to see law enforcement taking advantage of technology to build a safer community.