Cops welcome cameras, former police superintendent says
FBI chief James Comey, left, with New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton (Photo: Andrew Gombert, EPA)
FBI chief James Comey, left, with New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton (Photo: Andrew Gombert, EPA)

By Eileen Rivers and Michelle Poblete

After FBI Director James Comey stated that a “Ferguson effect” was preventing cops across the country from doing their jobs and causing a spike in crime, police officers reacted. And their reactions, for the most part, weren’t positive.

The available data don’t back up Comey’s idea that cameras (either on cellphones or in cop cars) have stopped cops from responding to potential criminals or others they may encounter in the course of doing their jobs. Crime, in fact, has dropped over the past several decades. And according to leaders within the police community like Ronal Serpas, a former superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department, cops welcome cameras. As technology develops, officers want to be a part of it, he stated.

“Officers have continued … to embrace new technology that monitors their behavior very effectively,” said Serpas, now chairman of Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration.

Below, he talks to Your Say editor Michelle Poblete about Comey’s statement, what officers on the ground are saying about a “Ferguson effect,” how to rid the system of bad cops and the future of technology.