KGOU

body cameras

Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty
Sue Ogrocki / AP

The Oklahoma City Police Department and the city’s Fraternal Order of Police have reached an agreement over the use of body worn cameras. The new agreement spells out when the cameras can, and must, be used.

Officers will be required to turn on cameras in the time between receiving a call and arriving at the scene. Police cannot roll film when interviewing victims or witnesses. Police management will be able to watch film to review operations, but not necessarily to assess an individual officer’s performance unless a citizen files a complaint.

Sgt. Rob Gallavan loads his department-issued rifle into his patrol car trunk on Aug. 1, 2016
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

A string of violent attacks across the country has many cops on high alert. And now, some departments are arming officers with more powerful gear. In Oklahoma City, that means police can soon start carrying personally owned rifles on duty, a decision that’s leading the department to find a balance between gearing up and preserving community relations.

'No longer rare'

It’s police sergeant Rob Gallavan’s day off. There’s a large black bag sitting on his kitchen table. He unzips it and casually removes a solid black, department-issued firearm.

Oklahoma City Police Car
Paul L. McCord Jr. / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma City Council on Tuesday approved policies for body-worn cameras for the city’s police department. 

The program begins with a three-system “wear test,” and then Oklahoma City police will deploy 100 body-worn cameras for a yearlong trial program.

At the council meeting Tuesday, Chief of Police Bill Citty said the cameras provide an opportunity to improve transparency and confidence in policing procedures.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Legislation that governs the public release of video from body cameras worn by law enforcement officers has been signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin.

The measure signed on Thursday allows for the release of body camera videos — with some exceptions.

A video can be withheld that depicts a death, unless that death was caused by a law enforcement officer. It also allows the redaction of incidents of great bodily harm and severe violence, unless the acts were caused by law enforcement.

Police Chief Kelvin Wright of Chesapeake, Virginia, was an early adopter of police body cameras, and he says it is within a citizen’s rights to tape police officers, as long as the citizen doesn’t interfere with police duties.

Chief Wright speaks with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about the role cameras have played in the recent use of police force in Baltimore, Ferguson and North Charleston.

cityofmcalester.com

The McAlester City Council has voted unanimously to approve new body cameras for the city's police force.

The McAlester News-Capital reports the council approved the purchase of the cameras Tuesday. The McAlester police plan to buy 39 new "compact wearable video systems," as well as a charging/docking station for a total cost of $31,000. One of the cameras will be given to the city's Criminal investigation Division, and the rest will go to patrol officers.

Dash cameras
Fernost / Creative Commons

A bill that started out to limit when police video record are released has been further amended to increase fees for copies of public records and create further exemptions for public access to government records.

The amendments were offered by  Rep. Mike Christian, R-Oklahoma City and the bill received approval from the House Public Safety committee Thursday.

Moore Police Department

A central Oklahoma police department has announced the purchase of 18 body cameras for its officers.

The Moore department also says its bought software and storage capabilities for the devices.

It paid $31,000 total for the technology as part of a pilot program that will last six to 12 months.

If the department deems the program successful and finds more available funding, the Moore Police Department says it will purchase an additional 60 to 70 cameras to equip all of its officers.