police body cameras

Utility Associates, Inc. / http://www.bodyworn.com/features/#features-specs

The West Lafayette Police Department has signed a new equipment contract to update its body-worn camera technology.

Chief Jason Dombkowski says technology from Utility Associates, Inc. incorporates different applications, such as location tracking and safety features.

“An officer down feature – basically a cell phone – it goes vertical, it senses that and it sends an alert to dispatch and every officer working that we have an officer down,” he says.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

Earlier this year, a state law mandated that a police department could not charge more than $150 for a copy of police body camera footage. The question now: Is $150 a fair price or might it have a cooling effect on people seeking video? WBAA’s Charlotte Tuggle reports. 

Police departments across Indiana are grappling with the cost of body-worn camera technology.

Some have quit the process altogether, saying the expense is too great for their department – even if they can recoup $150 every time someone asks for footage.

The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the University of Notre Dame and other state private universities can keep police records closed to the public.

The justices say the school’s police were not government entities when ESPN filed the lawsuit in 2014. But a recent change in state law means newer records are fair game.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

POLICE BODY CAMERAS

Legislation headed to the governor will give the public and the press more access to police body camera videos than they’ve ever had.  A final compromise drew unanimous support for the bill in both chambers.

There was one issue remaining in the body camera bill – a provision that said, if a video potentially depicts excessive use of force or civil rights violations by police, it must automatically be released.  Police didn’t like that, and so, despite the objections of press organizations, lawmakers took the provision out. 

VIEVU / http://www.vievu.com/

A bill regulating when police body camera videos are released to the public cleared one of its last major legislative hurdles Tuesday – the Senate passed the bill in a near-unanimous vote.

Sen. Rod Bray (R-Martinsville) says one of the biggest issues in the House version of the bill was the burden it placed on the public and the press to prove a police body cam video should be released to the public. 

The Senate switched that burden – now law enforcement would have to prove in a court that it shouldn’t.  Bray also notes the importance of what’s not in the bill.

Jimmy Emerson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/4716903349

An Indiana Senate subcommittee may make it easier for the media to view, not obtain copies of video from police body cameras. 

The police body camera bill in the Senate defines how videos from those cameras are released to the public. 

One of its provisions requires police to allow people involved in the video and their family members to view the footage upon request. 

They can’t have a copy without going to court, but they can view it. 

Courtesy Crawfordsville Mayor's Office

In many cities, it matters very little who sits on the tourism board.

But when you’re trying to make your town seem hip and you’ve got a one-time influx of Stellar Communities money in your back pocket to spend on that task, it may matter a great deal.

Today on Ask The Mayor, we see if Todd Barton of Crawfordsville has any aces up his sleeve who might help him use that cash to raise the city’s profile.

Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Legislation aimed at making it a little easier for the public to access police body camera footage stalled in the House after Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) expressed concerns about the bill.  But, the measure’s author is confident about its chances to advance.

Current law doesn’t mention police body camera footage, so it’s mostly classified as what’s called “investigatory record,” meaning the police don’t ever have to release it.