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Council News Release

9/23/2010  2:22:00 PM
Michael Jerrett, Jennifer Samuels, Councilmember Harrell's office, 206-684-8804

Councilmember Bruce Harrell

Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell applauds Oakland City Council for equipping police officers with body-mounted cameras
Councilmember Harrells proposal gaining momentum in Seattle

SEATTLE Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell today lauded the City Council in Oakland, California, which recently approved legislation to equip all 350 Oakland police patrol officers with body-mounted video cameras.

"Like Oakland, outfitting Seattle Police Officers with this technology will enhance transparency and provide impartial evidence when controversial incidents occur," said Councilmember Harrell. "Cameras physically located on officers will help educate all investigations of police incidents by showing what happened from beginning to end."

Following recent incidents where actions of Seattle Police Officers have been questioned, most notably, the officer-involved shooting death of John T. Williams, Councilmember Harrell is stepping up efforts to equip police officers in Seattle by developing a pilot proposal.

The first step for implementing body-mounted cameras in Seattle is the execution of a pilot program that evaluates data collected from measurement of clearly specified benefits. The Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL), meet to discuss their potential support on September 25.

The City of Oakland is using funds that were set aside for dash cameras, transferring the money to body-mounted cameras, totaling $540,000. Seattle will soon have to replace the existing dashboard cameras, which cost $5,000 per unit. The approximately $900 body-mounted cameras are capable of dual use by having the capability to be mounted on a car dashboard.

"It makes fiscal sense to replace our existing dashboard cameras with body-mounted camerasthey are more versatile, cost less and can be used inside the car and out," said Councilmember Harrell.

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