Manlius Police Department car body cameras
(Photo by Manlius Police Department)

As more and more police department begin using body cameras, the learning process accelerates.

Officers from the New York-based Manlius Police Department just outside of Syracuse have had seven months to learn from their cameras, and they have.

Manlius Police Captain Kevin Schafer spoke with about what his department has learned thus far:

Fewer complaints: The recordings have already been used to discredit citizen complaints against officers, Schafer said. Though he wasn’t able to provide an exact number, Schafer said on many occasions, people have backed off after learning incidents were recorded.

Better interactions: Officers have improved the tone and wording used during arrests, Schafer said. The cameras make them more aware of their language and tone of voice. “There is no way somebody’s behavior is not going to be altered by having a camera on their body,” he said.

… Limited viewpoint: The cameras only record what is directly in front of them, Schafer said. Recent cases have shown that even two officers at a scene don’t always capture all that might be relevant.

For more on what Schafer had to say about his department’s use of body cameras, please visit


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