Columbus Mayor, Police Chief Support Use Of Body Cameras
Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman is making a push for police officers to wear body cameras.
The Columbus Division of Police and the union representing police officers have opposed the cameras arguing they only provide one point of view.
“A city that stays the same, falls behind,” Mayor Coleman said. “I’m recommending that we move towards body cameras in the city of Columbus.”
Several central Ohio police departments including Lancaster and Sunbury are already using body cameras.
Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs said she does support the idea of getting the officer’s perspective from the very beginning of a confrontation.
“When a cell phone records an incident it’s often after the initial situation that caused somebody’s attention to turn on their own camera,” she said.
Mayor Coleman said while he supports body cameras, he has concerns about cost and privacy.
The mayor calls it a tool to protect police and citizens. The recommendation is part of an effort to improve police community relations in Columbus.
Police recently held five community meetings to listen to people’s concerns and said at the end of the day; police community relations come down to trust.
“Getting to know our officers and getting to know our community is extremely important in reducing any tension,” Jacobs said.
Mayor Coleman said he’s also asking for a review of Columbus Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau, detectives who investigate complaints against their own, to make certain the bureau is effective and objective.