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With Obama's Support, Police Body Cameras Could Become the New Normal

An on-body video camera clipped to a Los Angeles police officer's glasses
An on-body video camera clipped to a Los Angeles police officer's glassesPhotograph by Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo

The Obama administration thinks body cameras can prevent future Fergusons. It will dedicate $263 million to improve community relations with police through cameras, as well as additional training and oversight on issues like police use of military equipment, pending Congressional approval. The funding includes $75 million over three years to help police buy cameras, in addition to support for better training and oversight.

For people who support putting cameras on cops, this is a very big deal. The White House plan is intended to outfit 50,000 officers with cameras, which would almost double the number of cameras in use in the country. There are currently two major U.S. companies selling body cameras: Vievu, which has sold more than 40,000 cameras to 3,900 police agencies, and Taser, with 30,000 cameras in use by 1,200 agencies. The $75 million earmarked to purchase new body cameras is more than seven times the total revenue Taser earned from selling the devices in 2013.