An athlete oftentimes performs a little better while being observed by others, or trains a little harder when a "personal trainer" is giving encouragement. In sport psychology it's called "social facilitation".
In a larger sense, during competition, it can become a home field/court advantage.
Simply put, we all tend to behave better while under observation.
A recent study of a police department that has embraced use of the body cameras in Rialto, California showed a dramatic drop in complaints filed against officers as well as a reduction in police use of force.
What a difference these cameras would have made if UMPD and APD had been wearing them during the infamous "Blarney Blowout". One of the suggestions published in the $160,000 Davis Report was to have better trained police photographers filming such interactions.
But if every patrol cop had a camera running, rather than selective outtakes that make it to Youtube, the whole story would be easier to see. And you would not need to designate one or two officers to act as photographers, thus freeing them to help out fellow officers with the disturbance.
APD has been experimenting with the body cameras since before the Ferguson incident. The Chief tells me it comes down to a budgetary issue as to whether his department will adopt them. No real complaints have been issued by officers or their union concerning adoption.
Kind of like adopting cameras in all our patrol cruisers, something APD did two decades ago. Or the early adoption (1984) of video taping drunk driving arrests/bookings. Amherst was the 4th community in the state to adopt 911 as a means of emergency communications (1970).
When you're well trained, confident about your abilities and judgement, and in many cases young enough to embrace the digital age, cameras are nothing to be afraid of.
I asked District Attorney Dave Sullivan about the supposed conflict of interest Mr. O'Connor mentioned in his monologue and received this reply:
We have had two police-involved shootings. There was a fatal shooting of Corey Navarette in Orange on July 3, 2013, in which the decedent pointed a loaded assault rifle at a state trooper who entered his home with a search warrant. First Assistant District Attorney Steve Gagne investigated and issued our full investigative report for publication. The report was fair, balanced, and exonerated the trooper.
A second shooting, nonfatal, occurred in Ware on Sept. 23, 2014. Sajid Dacres and passenger were stopped for motor vehicle charges and credit card fraud. Dacres revved the engine to flee arrest, striking the police officer with the car he was driving. Shots fired by a Ware police officer resulted in non-life threatening injury. Dacres was arraigned today. It was determined by the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit attached to the Office and the Office of the Northwestern District Attorney that the officer was justified in shooting.
I see it as entirely appropriate for the District Attorney, who is Chief Law Enforcement Officer and has jurisdiction over all death cases and criminal cases, to investigate police-involved shootings. I am elected and accountable to the people to insure that an independent investigation of a police shooting is conducted and justice is served.