On any given day, Los Angeles police officers record 8,000 interactions with the public on body-worn cameras. The city spent millions on the cameras to help provide transparency and accountability, but LAPD officials say they don't have enough personnel to monitor the countless hours of recordings, according to the Los Angeles Times. The department has struggled to keep tabs on whether officers are turning off their cameras in violation of department rules, as members of a disbanded gang unit from the police Mission division are suspected of doing to cover up thefts, unlawful searches, and other alleged misconduct. A recent internal report suggested lapses in body-cam activation are more widespread than the department has let on, and that its system for auditing compliance falls short. LAPD leaders have been eyeing a potential solution: artificial intelligence, which can analyze vast troves of body camera footage with a few keystrokes.
As the use of body cameras has expanded, citizens and many police leaders say they have brought much-needed transparency to police encounters with the public, making the devices well worth the millions they cost to purchase and maintain. Police agencies across the U.S. hope that new advancements in technology will help identify officer misconduct that is captured on camera. With the rise of AI, civil liberties groups have raised concerns about the privacy rights of citizens who are not only being recorded but whose actions will now be evaluated without their consent. Other critics say AI has yet to produce better behavior by police. The company suggested, Truleo, processes transcripts of interactions caught on body cameras, looking for clues and patterns. The software uses voice-print technology to tag an officer's language as an "insult," "profanity," or "gratitude," while also flagging uses of force and searches. Art Acevedo, chief of police in Aurora, Colo., another Truleo client, said AI promises to address discrepancies in body camera footage.