The city plans to spend $1.6 million to equip 1,000 frontline officers with high-resolution body cameras amid a federal investigation of the Cleveland police department that was triggered by a high-speed pursuit and the fatal shooting of two unarmed civilians.
An oft-cited yearlong study into the use of body cameras by police in Rialto, Calif., showed a marked decrease in citizen complaints and use-of-force incidents when officers wore them.
There appears to be consensus in Cleveland that body cameras are a good idea. Police union President Jeff Follmer gave a lukewarm endorsement. About 200 officers tested cameras this year.
“I’m not against them, but I’m from the old school,” Follmer said. “I can see where they would exonerate officers, but I don’t like the baby-sitting factor.”