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Archive for Wednesday, October 15, 2003

K.C. police review use of video cameras

October 15, 2003

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— Two years ago, the Kansas City Police Department installed video cameras in most police cars. Some officers still aren't using the cameras, and the Board of Police Commissioners wants to know why.

The video systems are designed to automatically turn on when officers activate their red lights and sirens. Officers must manually turn on microphones to record sound.

Last month, several community members told board members that officers sometimes forgot to turn on their cameras, potentially losing valuable evidence in complaint cases. Board members then asked for a review of the video system.

The Office of Citizen Complaints, a civilian agency that takes complaints against officers, reviewed 142 complaints taken since November and checked to see whether video and audio were available. There were no recordings at all in 54 cases, and 21 with no audio.

The cases with missing video or audio may mean that officers did not follow policy, but technical problems may be to blame, police said.

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