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SDPOA Has a Lot of Questions About Body Cameras

San Diego police department supervisors met with city leaders and the SDPOA Wednesday to discuss how to move forward

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    The San Diego Police Department wants to outfit every officer with a body camera in an effort to prevent misconduct on the job. But, will the cameras serve their purpose? NBC 7's Megan Tevrizian takes a closer look at the devices. (Published Wednesday, April 9, 2014)

    San Diego’s top cop wants body cameras on a thousand officers to prevent misconduct however the police officers’ union is concerned the project may be moving forward too quickly.

    “Everybody is jumping on the bandwagon thinking this is going to be some sort of panacea and solve all these problems when the reality is, it may create more,” said Brian Marvel, President of the San Diego Police Officers Association.

    San Diego police department supervisors met with city leaders and the SDPOA Wednesday to discuss how to move forward with the program.

    Chief Shelley Zimmerman eventually wants a thousand officers to have cameras saying it will increase transparency and decrease complaints against police.

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    [DGO]SDPD Chief Requests Body Cameras
    On Wednesday, San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne asked City Council to help purchase body cameras for police officers. Lansdowne says they will help the department track any racial profiling. NBC 7’s Megan Tevrizian explains how many cameras he wants and how much they would cost. (Published Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014)

    SDPOA members want to have a lot of input in the crafting of the department’s policy regarding body cameras.

    There are concerns ranging from about which types of cameras will be used to how and where the video will be stored.

    “If we’re doing 1200 hours of video a day, who is going to review 1200 hours of video to make sure everybody is within policy,” Marvel asks.

    The union president said the cameras could be beneficial for police officers. Other departments in the country have seen a dramatic drop in complaints against officers because subjects know they’re being recorded.

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    The San Diego Chief of Police wants to buy body cameras that would be worn by every police officer, but some people in the community still have questions. NBC 7’s Greg Bledsoe reports. (Published Wednesday, March 19, 2014)

    However, the privacy of officers must also be respected, he said.

    Also, the union wants to clarify which employees will wear the cameras.

    “This is about full transparency and everybody that contacts the citizen in the field. It shouldn’t just strictly be to patrol officers,” Marvel said.

    Once a policy is put together, Marvel said the union will have its legal team review it.