City council, police chief discuss body cams for all Chattanooga officers
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
Chattanooga city council members are discussing police body cameras. They are touching on all of the issues surrounding the topic, including your privacy.
There are numerous questions that need answering as to the overall benefits of this new technology and if the police department is prepared for this somewhat uncharted area of law enforcement.
Overall, both the City and police want to see every Chattanooga officer wearing one, but there are concerns about privacy, community trust and accountability.
"Nationally, the problem that we've seen is that at critical times the body cameras either don't work, or they've been turned off," says Chattanooga City Councilman Yusuf Hakeem.
Chattanooga City Council members are asking the Police Chief how body cameras will be used in the city, and what the policies will be for the officers who wear them.
"I wrote the policy at my last agency and it was, if you had a member deliberately kill the system during a critical incident, it is cause for termination," says Chattanooga Chief of Police Fred Fletcher.
Chief Fletcher hopes to have all body cameras on all officers within a year, recording every law enforcement interaction with the public.
But before the cameras are in use, Chief Fletcher says they need to finalize those policies and spend more time educating the public.
"The community needs to appreciate and understand there's more than just one view." councilman Hakeem says.
Hakeem adds, "So, expectations should not be that the camera is not going to tell you everything that is going on."
Overall city council is welcoming the new technology to the force, and the officers who are already wearing body cameras seem to agree.
"And, I talk to the guys and girls who wear them routinely and none of them want to give them up," Chief Fletcher says. "They have found them to be very useful tools and they feel they protect everybody very well."
Monday, August 21 2017 2:11 AM EDT2017-08-21 06:11:50 GMT
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