OCPD Looks At Getting Body Cameras

Monday, September 22nd 2014, 11:25 pm
By: News 9

Oklahoma City Police are looking into getting body cameras. These are small cameras that each officer attaches to their uniform, but the addition of these cameras is not a done deal. The process is in the research stage, and police say they don't have an estimate of cost.

From the looks of it, it appeared the police officer came out of nowhere and took down a man, but what you didn't see was what happened moments before, behind the white SUV. It was something the dash cam video didn't see, and nobody would have, if not for the body camera the officer was wearing.

“The dash cam versus the body cam is the dash cam is only going to show what's right in front of your vehicle, but the body cameras are going to go with you if you're on a pursuit on foot, if you've got to go inside a house. It's going to be everywhere the officer goes,” Fraternal Order of Police President John George said.

This video is from a department outside Dallas, but it's use is the same anywhere.

“I think anytime there is a use of force or in a critical incident with a shooting or any kind of real serious matter like that, a lot of times there's a he said she said of what transpired,” George said.

This includes false allegations which George says happens more people than realize.

“Oh, it happens quite a bit,” George said.

Several police departments in Oklahoma use body cams, including Ada and Muskogee. Chickasha Police have demoed several, and the chief said they "create transparency."

As far as Oklahoma City, it's just a matter of time.

“I think the way things are going around the country, it's going to happen probably,” George said. “It's not a matter of when it's going to happen. It's just how soon.”

The FOP said the number one hurdle is money and that storage of the video costs more than the actual cameras themselves, which run about $1,000 apiece. In the meantime, the city said it is going to have to find a way to fund the cameras before they are actually put to use.