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Author Topic: Milwaukee Pushing towards more Body Cameras on Police  (Read 524 times)
Chef Ramsay
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September 02, 2014, 12:31:53 AM
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More than 2,000 people have signed an online petition to require Milwaukee police officers to wear body cameras that would record everything they do on the job.

The fatal police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., has put the technology in the public eye nationwide — and a forthcoming report says police agencies have seen lower rates of force and citizen complaints after body cameras were put on officers.

Milwaukee tested five models of body cameras on city streets last year, and the Police Department plans to get 50 cameras for a pilot program within the 1,800-member department next year. For some who have marched in Milwaukee in solidarity with Ferguson, it's not soon enough. But the process takes time, Mayor Tom Barrett said.

"There are issues that can be dealt with but it's not as easy as just turning on a switch," Barrett said.

Although criminal justice and civil liberties experts acknowledge the benefits of body cameras, they also warn of practical considerations: how the technology would be implemented, what policies would govern it, and how it could unintentionally widen the divide between officers and the communities they serve.

An update on the body camera pilot program and discussion about the department's dashboard camera policy are expected at the next Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission meeting on Sept. 4.

"It's not a question of if, it's a question of when," commission director Michael Tobin said of body cameras.

The practical concerns and department policies are linked at http://www.jsonline.com/news/crime/body-cameras-on-police--simple-idea-complex-ramifications-b99338528z1-272967071.html

I've heard that departments that have used these things get major reductions in overuse of force and subsequent court payouts. This could start trending nationwide and I'm currently all for it considering our circumstances in this day and age.
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