“Everything has to have a policy:” Police departments consider ever-changing use of body cameras

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MILWAUKEE -- They are intended to protect both the public and the police when the two interact during investigations and law enforcement actions. But according to one expert, body cameras are an ever-changing technology -- one that will require plenty of patience.

Brian Dorow

Brian Dorow

Brian Dorow is the dean of the Waukesha County Technical College's Law Enforcement Training School -- and he is big on body cameras.

"It's a new tool that law enforcement is starting to use," Dorow said.

On Monday, August 22nd, body cameras were the topic of conversation as southeast Wisconsin reacted to the officer-involved shooting death of Sylville Smith on August 13th.

"You're going to be able to see firsthand what that officer was confronted with, what the suspect did in this case, and then make a proper decision, as it`s going through the legal process," Dorow said.

Body camera

Part of the process involves policy which Dorow said can differ from department to department.

"In law enforcement, everything has to have a policy. Everything has to be dictated. You know, the usage, the exceptions, all those things have to be out in a policy," Dorow said.

The Milwaukee Police Department has its policy on its website. However, Dorow cautioned that changes to both police policies and the technology itself should be expected.

Brian Dorow

Brian Dorow

"You've seen some chiefs kinda take that 'wait and see' approach. Work all the bugs out. This is new technology. It's new technology to the law enforcement community. Let's see what happens," Dorow said.

Dorow said as was the case with Tasers many years ago, fully integrating and adapting the new body camera technology will take time.

As for the Milwaukee Police Department's 30-second pre-recording buffer not including audio -- that appears to be a fixed feature according to the manufacturer's website.

Body camera

2 comments

  • confused

    Everything has to be dictated. You know, the usage, the exceptions, all those things have to be out in a policy,” Dorow said. The rioting, the looting, the arson, the marching, the picketing. You know thugs and thugettes you can wear a go pro on yourself and film yourself being shot so your caring family and friends can see what really happened. Then the crimes you committed while wearing it can be viewed to see what went wrong for other thugs/thugettes to learn from. Easy-peasy.

    • Reasonless

      I love it!!!
      Attention Tom Barrett.
      Send a tweet out to all Moms that they need to get their Thug and Thugettes to wear Go Pro cameras while they terrorize and lute.
      This way you can have fond memories of what a great kid you raised.

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