CLEVELAND – Body cameras will soon be a part of a Cleveland police officer’s uniform.
Officers are expected to begin getting the body cameras January 26, but the president of the union that represents city patrolman doesn’t believe the body cameras should be worn by officers.
“No we are not in favor of the body cameras at all, not for any sinister reason other than they provide very bad video when there is action going on,” said Union President Steve Loomis.
Loomis said while he is in favor of dash camera video, he believes the body cameras can cause many problems for officers, including if they should keep them on when going inside someone’s home. He said that could cause constitutional issues.
“When you are involved in a foot chase or something like that, the video at best can be controversial and I think it’s going to create more issues than it’s going to solve,” Loomis said.
However, departments across the United States have been using the cameras for some time and locally many departments like Newburgh Heights have found them helpful.
Councilman Zack Reed said he strongly disagrees with Loomis and said the department needs the cameras so the public can see exactly what an officer does when handling a case.
“Hogwash, that’s total hogwash; cameras have been used around the nation. We are not going to be the first ones or the last ones to use body cameras,” Reed said. “They have been proven to be effective around the nation.”
And Councilman Matt Zone said he believes the body cameras will prove to beneficial to officers.
“We have seen examples all across the United States on forces that have implemented where violent crimes have gone down, and actually helped and protected and supported the fine work of what our police officers do every single day, keeping our city streets safe,” Zone said.