Police sousveillance is sousveillance upon actions of the police. This typically involves citizens photographing or recording video of police activity, though it can also involve police recording their own activities in order to provide an indisputable record. This has the general effect of greatly increasing transparency into police activity.
One clear benefit of having a record of incidents is that it rewards officers who behave correctly and are honest about their actions, while allowing proper punishment for those who behave incorrectly or who misrepresent their actions.
There has historically been a great deal of resistance among police to the idea of having their actions recorded, even if they make the recordings themselves. Two factors tend to work against this resistance:
- When police are required to make their own recordings, they generally come to realize the usefulness of having an indisputable record of events.
- Recording of police activity has been found to be a constitutionally-protected activity in several recent court cases.
- 2014-02-28 [L..T] Indianapolis cops must allow citizens to film police activity after $200k settlement
- 2013-04-07 [L..T] Wearing a Badge, and a Video Camera Even with only half of the 54 uniformed patrol officers wearing cameras at any given time, the department over all had an 88 percent decline in the number of complaints filed against officers, compared with the 12 months before the study, to 3 from 24.