Body Cameras | KNKX

Body Cameras

Cranes have become more familiar fixtures of the Tacoma skyline as growth has increased in the City of Destiny in recent years.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Tacoma has been outfitting police officers with body-worn cameras since mid-December, with a goal of having all of them deployed by the end of March. Now, the city is on track to finish that process a month early.

It seems so simple. Equip police officers with body cameras to record their interactions with the public. But it turns out it’s actually quite complicated.

A legislative task force meets Tuesday in an ongoing effort to try to figure it out.

New York City is set to begin giving body cameras to its police officers on Thursday.

Under the police department's pilot program, 1,200 officers in 20 precincts will receive the cameras. The officers will also be studied by scientists to see what effect the cameras have on policing.

As police don body cameras across the country, scientists are increasingly working with departments to figure out how the cameras change behavior — of officers and the public.

MANUEL VALDES / AP

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle's plan to equip police officers with body cameras has stalled as the city works to clarify policies regarding when officers are allowed to review the video.

The Seattle Times reports that a court-appointed monitor argues that officers should not be allowed to view video of an incident before they write reports on their use of force, saying that would influence their account of any incident. Attorneys for the city disagree.

Manuel Valdes / AP

The Seattle Police Department is outfitting its first group of officers with body cameras starting this week.

KOMO-TV reports that about a dozen officers in the city's bike squad will begin wearing the devices Thursday. The officers were assigned cameras and went through training with them on Tuesday.

Manuel Valdes / AP

The U.S. Department of Justice has awarded the Seattle Police Department $600,000 to expand its body camera program. The Seattle Times reports that the DOJ announced the funding Monday as part of a federal campaign to improve law-enforcement transparency.

Seattle police finished a small pilot program this summer in which a dozen officers used body cameras. Department officials say they hope to have all patrol officers wearing cameras next year. The federal funding will go toward purchasing equipment and training officers.