UPDATE: Spokane cops to turn off cameras in homes if asked - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UPDATE: Spokane cops to turn off cameras in homes if asked

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The Spokane Police Department are testing body cameras on officers. The Spokane Police Department are testing body cameras on officers.
UPDATE:

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Spokane's police chief says officers testing out the use of body cameras will stop recording in private residences if asked.

The Spokesman-Review reports that the decision by Chief Frank Straub is part of an "evolving process" of dealing with the issues raised by the program. The department has wrapped up its second week of having 17 patrol officers wearing the chest-mounted cameras, and it hopes to have all officers wearing them next year.

State Sen. Andy Billig of Spokane asked the Attorney General's Office last spring for guidance on whether officers should record in private homes, but no opinion has been issued. In the meantime, Straub says some departments around the state are turning off the cameras in homes, and that's the direction the city legal advisers have adopted.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub played the role of realist in discussing the process of implementing body cameras on Friday.

"There's no perfect solution," Chief Straub said. "It's not as simple as taking this camera and sticking it on your chest and solving all the problems in the world."

In addition to discussing the legal and ethical issues these body cameras create, his team also talked about the technical side.

The largest concerns come from the video produced by the body cameras. While far better than none, the department acknowledged the video quality isn't perfect, and in a normal police encounter the video could shake, or be turned off-center depending on the officer's stance.

To demonstrate this, the media partook in a simulator.

When we watched it back, officers noted the fisheye camera, and how anything from the officer's arms to their stance can impact what that camera sees.

They also played a demo video showing a simple police arrest. What it showed was that the body camera video appears far more violent than the side-view.

These are things the department will continue to look at as the pilot program continues through the end of the year.
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