OKC Police Chief Speaks Out About Removing Bodycams

Wednesday, June 15th 2016, 2:56 pm
By: News 9

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 123 President, John George says body cameras are, “the biggest change in law enforcement since I’ve been involved.”

The pilot program for the cameras is only six months old, but was cut short Tuesday because of a problem George says he saw from the beginning.

“This was totally unnecessary. Everyone knows this had to be negotiated and now we have to stop a good program because of that,” he said.

George says the FOP filed a grievance last September after they failed to negotiate a policy for the program. Even though he’s in favor of the technology he says there’s a right and wrong way to go about it.

In the short six months the program has been online, he says he’s already received complaints from officers.

“There have been supervisors that act like this is a YouTube video and I don’ think if it was your family on there you would want that either,” said George.

Oklahoma Police Chief Police Chief Bill Citty says he doesn’t have a clear solution, but is willing to compromise.

“They’re public record. The public can look at them anytime, but my supervisors and administrators cannot.”

George adds he doesn’t want OKCPD officers using cameras until negotiations are complete.

“I legitimately hope nothing happens out there that body cameras would’ve saved our officers or done a good thing, but I can’t control that and I want to stress it’s not our fault, it’s the city’s fault,” he said.

OKCPD and FOP will next sit down and discuss body camera policy during contract negotiations. No date for those meetings have been set.