SPD’s Chief Operating Officer Mike Wagers said there was no one moment when the City and SPD absolutely committed itself to body cameras.“As the Chief has said,” he said, “we have a moral obligation to implement this technology.” In the wake of a long string of high-profile deaths at the hands of police, many of who have been young black men, body cameras have gained traction nationally.The pilot was used as a test for different camera manufacturers and methods for storage and management of the data.The mayor’s proposal to fully fund body cameras comes even as the Seattle Police Department continues its review of the results of the pilot program.Now, barring extreme circumstances, the city is all-in on body cameras and doesn’t appear to be looking back.As a result, the continued opposition of the CPC and ACLU appears to be especially frustrating for city officials — a buzzkill, of sorts, at the City’s camera party.Although the city didn’t say definitively then that it would accept the grant, which requires a 1-to-1 match, it seemed likely it would.It was unclear until Monday whether Murray would shoot higher than 0,000, which he now has — decisively.
Ron Smith, SPOG’s president, and Chief O’Toole both showed confidence those negotiations would get done, but Smith couldn’t resist an off-the-cuff jab at the city’s higher-ups.
In Mesa, the 75 percent drop was in contrast to only four use-of-force cases in the year before.
That’s not to say that body cameras did not play a role in the reduction of force, but only that there is no shortage of confounding variables in the world of crime statistics. After introducing body cameras, the department actually saw a 10 percent increase in use of force and a 36 percent increase in assaults on officers.
After the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the riots that followed, the Obama administration announced million for body cameras in December.
The first sign that Seattle was ready to move beyond a pilot program came in mid-September when Murray, with Councilmember Harrell and Police Chief O’Toole, enthusiastically announced the city had been offered a 0,000 grant from the feds as part of President Obama’s push.