The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts has laid out a plan to help the state’s police departments implement the use of body cameras.

The plan would focus on three touchstones: accountability, reliability, and transparency. Police would be required to record all encounters on the street to ensure that a clear course of events can be documented. Individual officers would not be allowed to decide what is worth recording or not recording; instead, the cameras would be turned on from the moment the officer arrives on the scene.

Although 40 departments across the state are reviewing plans on how best to institute cameras, Boston has yet to put any policy regulation police body cameras into effect.

For the last several years, the popularity of body cameras has mushroomed. A recent surveyof the nation’s police departments shows that 95 percent have plans to require body cameras (even though only 24 departments actually have cameras in regular operation).

ACLU legal counsel Matthew Segal says Massachusetts is far behind other states when it comes to body cameras:

“Massachusetts has really fallen behind its peers and the rest of the country in adopting body cameras as a tool to promote police accountability.”

Segal says the ACLU feels it’s necessary to help the state “do body cameras right.”

But some are apprehensive about what police body cameras could mean for the Bay State. Both the public and police departments have voice apprehension for the high cost of the cameras, and the potential loss of privacy from all the recorded footage.

Research shows, however, that police who wear body cameras are less likely to use force, and offenders are less likely to make a complaint against the officer.

“The reviews are in from the rest of the country, and the data is suggesting that body cameras can protect both sides of the badge,” says Segal.

The Massachusetts ACLU imagines a future of “community policing” that offers a structure to ensures justice and protects officers and citizens alike.