Seattle Seeks to Expedite Police Body Cameras, As Community Groups Request Patient Consideration

The city of Seattle is working hard to ensure that every police officer possesses a body camera as soon as possible. On September 28, 2015, the city was awarded a $600,000 federal grant to increase the amount of body cameras among their police forces. This came as a result of a six-month trial program that was deemed a success for the city and its police forces.

However, many community groups are opposed to this rapid increase of body cameras. The Community Police Commission certainly sees the value in police body cameras with regard to police accountability. However, they are also privy to the wide gamut of issues that can surface as a result of such cameras.

The most important of these issues is one of personal privacy, as police videos have begun to surface on web platforms such as YouTube. Despite having blurred images, the actual videos could become available to the general public via disclosure laws.

Consequently, this issue in Seattle is complex due to the need for more police accountability and the desire to protect personal privacy. Though Seattle Police desire to implement body cameras across the force as soon as possible, community groups such as CDC will attempt to delay such an implementation and fight for the values that are dear to their cause.