Seattle cops may start wearing cameras

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on June 30, 2010 at 11:24 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 30 at 10:21 PM

SEATTLE  - Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell is proposing putting cameras on cops.

The small body cameras would either be mounted on the officers' lapels or worn on their heads like a blue tooth. Harrell says the video technology "may assist the city's public safety efforts and reduce potentially violent situations."

All Seattle police squad cars have cameras mounted in their vehicles. The body-cams would be in addition to those.

A Seattle Police Department spokesman says officers like the car cams, which have helped police investigations in the past.

Use of the body cameras could be interpreted as a change in working conditions and may require a change in officers' contract language.

Each body-cam costs an estimated $900 per unit. Harrell wants to conduct a trial run with approximately 300 officers equipped with the personal cameras.

Harrell has scheduled a special meeting of the Department of Energy and Technology and the Seattle Police Department to discuss personal cameras on July 7 at noon at City Hall.

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