Bill would force all law enforcement in Maine to wear body cameras


    All law enforcement in Maine could soon be required to wear body cameras. (WGME)

    PORTLAND (WGME) -- All law enforcement in Maine could soon be required to wear body cameras.

    Maine legislators held a public hearing Wednesday on the bill.

    The bill was taken up in the Committee of Criminal Justice and Public Safety, and would require that all law enforcement officers have body cameras by the start of 2021.

    Supporters of the bill say that this would protect both officers and residents by providing an extra layer of accountability.

    They also say it would help in cases where a weapon was fired or used by an officer, and that it would help some families understand what happened.

    Some opponents say that law enforcement shouldn’t be forced to wear them, and say that the devices don't always show the whole picture, which can lead to more confusion.

    "You want to know what happened, ‘What did the police officer see?’ You would want that, rather than not knowing what happened right before," Senator Susan Deschambault said.

    "Cameras don't always accurately represent the situation that unfolds or as it happens," Piscataquis County Sheriff Robert Young said.

    The Maine Association of Police posted their opposition to the bill on Facebook.

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