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RPD: Body camera program off to a 'good start'

May 16, 2019 05:40 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- Footage from body-worn cameras is at the center of a case against a suspended Rochester Police officer charged with misdemeanor assault after he allegedly beat a man wrongly accused of a crime. 

On Thursday, the Community Justice Advisory Board released what it says will be an annual report on RPD's policies on the use of those cameras. 

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News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke has been going through it.

RPD feels they have a good system in place for when the cameras are to be used.

They believe the system is helping to give members of the community some peace of mind when it comes to the interactions they may have with an officer on the street.  

But of course, they have some suggestions on how the program could be strengthened.  

While the videos seem to be helping in civilian review of police misconduct complaints, the committee says they'd like RPD to keep better data on whether the cameras are always being turned on when they should be.

They also believe that the department should be making more of the videos public under the Freedom of Information Law.

Overall, there was positive feedback on the program so far and the group says that's a good start.   

"The body-worn camera initiative is really one step in a multi-pronged approach to improving and enhancing the mutual trust between the community and the police," said Mike Bleeg, co-chair for Community Justice Advisory Board.  

WHECTV

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