Poll: Most feel safer with police body cameras

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A majority of Pennsylvanians say they would feel safer if police officers wore body cameras, according to a new poll.

Penn State Harrisburg conducted a telephone survey of 579 Pennsylvanians. More than 88 percent said they were in favor of body cameras.

“The study was broken down into social groups,” Dr. Jennifer Gibbs said. “Ninety percent of black respondents said they would strongly agree that they would feel safer when police wear body cameras compared to a little more than half of white respondents.”

York police Sgt. Orazio Riccobono was at Penn State Harrisburg to discuss his department’s use of body cameras. He said for the past year, all 105 officers in his department have been equipped with the cameras.

“It’s been a great tool for us,” he said. “We think it provides safety, not only for the officer but also the residents that we work for.”

The Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association says only a handful of police departments in the state use body cameras. The state’s current wiretap law is one reason why. The state Senate could vote next month on a bill to change the definition of audio communication involving police officers.

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