Public Calls for Police Cameras - WBAY

Public Calls for Police Cameras

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Tensions in Ferguson, Missouri have led many to call for a change in how police officers do their jobs.

There is no video footage of 18 year old Michael Brown's death, but different accounts of what happened, according to witnesses and police. The public is calling for more officers to wear body cameras.

Appleton Police Department has about 20 body cameras and has been wearing them for the last ten years.
Officers wear the cameras on their uniform. When they want to record something, they just flip a button, the light turns green, and they're recording.

"The cameras that the officers wear go into homes, go into businesses," said Capt. Todd Freeman, Appleton Police Department.

In Green Bay, officers don't wear cameras.

"I think the easy answer is financing--there is a cost involved," said Lt. Chad Ramos, Green Bay Police Department.

The cost isn't small--cameras can cost about $900 a piece.

Officers in Appleton said the benefits outweigh the price tag.

"It's certainly an investment at minimizing risk that the front end investment in technology can certainly save the staff hours, the litigation hours down the road for complaints that are sometimes there's nothing too them," Freeman said.

The high price isn't the only thing keeping cameras off cops. Officials said lots of planning needs to be done before officers can wear the cameras.

"Policy and procedure have to get squared away. You know, how are we going to store all of the data? where are we going to store all of the data?" Ramos said.

Green Bay Police currently wear audio-recording microphones and use dash cam video, but said they aren't opposed to the new technology.

"With some of the recent events i think the topic will come up again and we'll look at it when it does," said Ramos. "I think there's an upside to cameras. anytime you have another camera, or another video, or another piece of evidence of an incident, it certainly can help."

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