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Councilmember Harrell Statement on President Obama’s Announcement of Body-Worn Cameras

City of Seattle

Councilmember Harrell Statement on President Obama’s Announcement of Body-Worn Cameras

SEATTLECouncilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s body-worn camera announcement:

"I applaud President Obama’s announcement to allocate $263 million for a new program that will provide body-worn cameras for the police and expand training for law enforcement agencies. Specifically, the President’s proposal is a $75 million investment over three years that could help purchase 50,000 body-worn cameras nationwide. The Body-Worn Camera Partnership Program would provide a 50 percent match to states and cities who purchase body-worn cameras and hardware storage.

"I am in favor of our City applying for this grant with the goal of full deployment of body cameras for the Seattle Police Department in 2016. Seattle is currently on schedule to begin the body camera pilot at the end of this year with a complete assessment report completed September 2015.

"I have long advocated for body cameras, a progressive game-changing effort to improve public safety, police accountability, and transparency. Body cameras provide impartial evidence and build trust with the community. The public deserves to have clear video evidence of police and civilian interactions, so we can more accurately examine incidents of police misconduct and produce video and audio evidence when shootings occur. One solution to allow us to better understand what happened at Ferguson is to deploy body cameras on all police officers."

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