Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs answers the media questions about body cameras for our officers.
FaceBook: Columbus Division of Police
If those body cameras come with extra feet as in more police presence and coverage for the Westside-Hilltop Columbus, then I’m all aboard. Until then this concern of being transparent is feather cover! Want transparency, start documenting incoming calls and the turnaround time of response time, the stats of calls that go unanswered because it was deemed unimportant based on other calls that came in at the same time. Also let’s bring in a formula to these stats to support the number of people that now do not even bother to call the police because of: “they don’t do anything anyway”, “they don’t respond anyway”, or told that they are too busy to send someone out. Let’s compare these new stats with the Columbus Division of Police forces metrics that state police officers numbers are placed-increased-decreased by precinct based upon a preset number of crime stats, population, or just plain power of advocacy for the community that the precinct is responsible. Let’s be honest and transparent about that. Body cameras have no value of crime deterrence with me until I can see more police presence and coverage of police officers in my area of the Westside-Hilltop area of Columbus. Then let’s tag these additional police officers with cameras. And I hope the media had the guts to speak up about this as they know of this issue.
[Update: 09/10/15] This will be an extremely costly venture especially with the data housing and data retention. Remember the City brought up data issue retention and server issues in sharing the public cameras data feeds with the community. The camera may be cheap but the data capture, retention, housing, personnel involved to monitor, and lastly the 24/7 server.
Do I favor the cameras – yes but not at a cost of having more police officers on the street.
Do I think this is a community relations/political ploy – yes
Do I think as a result of a community relations/political ploy that this has not been thoroughly thought out – yes
This is a haphazard not thought out ploy to save face and our Columbus City Council should be ashamed of themselves. Convince me that we will have the camera support as discussed above in our operating budget for a minimum of 5 years.