JASON RANTZ

Redmond police chief: Body cameras provide ‘transparency,’ consistent with calls from public

May 30, 2021, 7:54 AM
body cameras...
A patrol officer starts a body camera recording by pressing a button on his chest. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

The Redmond Police Department is ready to officially go down the path of getting body worn cameras for all of its officers. KTTH’s Jason Rantz says body worn cameras help keep everyone accountable, “but more importantly, it also shows the truth of what happens when police interact with the public.”

The Redmond Police Department had put a poll online to get the city’s reaction to this plan, but it was soon compromised.

“We were informed by the vendor that the poll got compromised several days after it was launched,” said Redmond Police Department Chief Darrell Lowe. “We had a tremendous response to it initially. We had a 94% ‘yes’ rate for it. And then I’m told individuals used a bot to skew the numbers. So as a result, we took the poll down, but that does not diminish the interest that the community has in us acquiring body worn cameras.”

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Lowe says he’s excited to move forward on this program in part because body worn cameras provide another perspective, and it helps the department to be more transparent.

“It is consistent with what society is demanding from its law enforcement officers and agencies, and that’s transparency,” Lowe said. “So I think it’s critically important that we move forward with the acquisition of body worn cameras so that it protects both the officers and the community, and it contributes to the conversation and narrative about transparency and legitimacy within law enforcement.”

“In any interaction that the officers have, I think there is a benefit to the body worn cameras, and it provides another perspective or another layer of information to assess what did or did not occur in an interaction between an officer and a member of the community,” he added.

He believes it’s important for law enforcement agencies everywhere to have body worn cameras to protect officers, the agency, and the community.

Tacoma speeds up body camera rollout

Next, Lowe will be making a presentation to city council on June 15 for the body-worn camera program.

“Depending on what questions the council has and what follow up needs to be done, city staff will dictate when it will actually go before the council for a vote to appropriate the funding, assuming that everything goes well and it is approved,” he said. “Then at that point we have to negotiate contracts and vendors, et cetera.”

Lowe says by the end of quarter one of 2022 would be a reasonable timeline.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Redmond police chief: Body cameras provide ‘transparency,’ consistent with calls from public