Don't Expect Cameras on Cops Anytime Soon

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Last week Danny Westneat had a typically insightful column about how, in light of the John Williams shooting and a number of other high-profile police incidents, equipping cops with tiny cameras feels less Big Brother and more Worth the Bother. Good idea! Just don't expect it to happen anytime soon.

The idea was first proposed by City Councilman Bruce Harrell back in June. (Or by fellow Councilman and former cop Tim Burgess last year, depending on whom you believe.) But before any cameras are put on any lapels, there's a whole lot of civic machinery to work through.

"Don't expect this to happen overnight," says one person near and dear to the Council. "There are several different moving parts, including the police department, the policeman's guild, the companies themselves...it could be a while."

In order to go from zero to every-cop's-interaction-is-recorded, the city still has to hold meetings, accept bids and start a pilot program, among other things. Steps that will, presumably, take the city further and further away from the latest hot-button cop-involved shooting, and further and further away from the impetus to treat police like hosts of their very own Candid Camera.

Of course, once all those criteria are met we'll have those cameras in no time...just as soon as we figure out how to buy new supplies when there's a $50 million-plus budget deficit. Don't hold your breath!

 
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