Info Requests May Stymie Seattle PD Body Cams


Concerns about the administrative costs of public disclosure requests have prompted Seattle to second-guess its plan to outfit its police officers with body cameras, reports the Seattle Times. The city is within weeks of launching a six-month pilot program to outfit 12 officers with body-worn cameras. But the plan to equip more than 1,000 officers by 2016 could be shelved due to public disclosure requests already filed by one citizen and the expectation of many more, said Mike Wagers, the police department's chief operating officer.

Officials say legislators should change the law, although a public records advocate questions the need. On Tuesday, the anonymous citizen–known only by an email address–filed an information request seeking daily updates that Wagers said would be virtually impossible to fulfill. The citizen is seeking details on every 911 dispatch on which officers are sent; all the written reports they produce; and details of each computer search generated by officers when they run a person's name, or check a license plate or address. He or she also wants all videos from patrol-car cameras and plans to seek copies of body-cam videos once police begin using them.

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