The City Should Work To Make Sure There Are Body Cameras For Its Police Officers
Most Jamestown police officers already wear body cameras.
We agree with Councilman Jeff Russell, R-At Large, when he suggested last week that detectives and their supervisors, which would include a captain and a lieutenant, should also wear body cameras when interacting with the public. Currently only uniformed officers wear body cameras.
“I think it’s imperative at the police department that we have transparency,” he said. “I think our detectives wearing body cameras when they have contact with the public would further show that we are trying to be transparent, that we aren’t hiding anything.”
Making non-uniformed officers wear body cameras would only affect about 10 officers — but they’re 10 officers who can deal with touchy situations that could easily lead to lawsuits or miscommunication between officers and the public they serve. Having the body camera footage available should only help city government and the community at large.
If there are union contract issues we hope they can be cleared up quickly. And, if there aren’t enough body cameras, the city should work to find a way to make sure there are enough cameras as quickly as possible.