Complaints board wants on-body cameras for DC cops

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The District of Columbia's Police Complaints Board is recommending D.C. police adopt an on-body camera program for its officers.

The PCB says the Office of Police Complaints receives and investigates complaints from the public alleging that Metropolitan Police Department officers have engaged in police misconduct, according to a news release. They say body-worn cameras can be used to resolve many of these types of citizen complaints and to train officers on proper police procedures.

In addition, the presence of body-worn cameras on officers may even help to prevent some negative police-citizen interactions, according to the PCB.

"Police wearing on-body cameras should produce a number of advantages," said Philip K. Eure, OPC's executive director. "With the public's involvement in developing the program, the use of body-worn cameras can lead to better police-community relations, improve officer training, and ultimately enhance public safety."

The PCB is asking for input from a number of D.C. officials, including participants from OPC, MPD, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, the District's Office of the Attorney General, representatives of the criminal defense bar, the American Civil Liberties Union, and members of the Fair and Inclusive Policing Task Force.

MPD Director of Communications Gwendolyn Crump issued the following statement in response to the recommendation:

"As the Chief testified during the police conduct hearing earlier this year, and again during the recent budget hearing, the Department is committed to implementing a body-camera program, and developing a comprehensive policy to govern all aspects of the initiative. The Chief is pleased with reports that the Police Complaints Board supports her proposed initiative."


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