Police leaders from four states gathered in Seattle yesterday to discuss issues surrounding how police should release, store and retain the running stream of video collected when officers wear body cameras, the Seattle Times reports. Seattle police are part of a White House-sponsored Police Data Initiative that is considering the problem. Seattle is in the final weeks of a pilot project that placed body cameras on a handful of officers. The Seattle group included media lawyers and Jennifer Pahlka of Code for America, a nonpartisan technology organization. Taser, which is a major supplier of police video cameras, was represented.
Greg Russell, a former Amazon executive who now is Seattle police chief information officer, wants to find easy-to-use software and technological devices to make officers' jobs easier. He's confident that the department will be able to live-stream video from body cameras, all while redacting and keeping private, sensitive information out of public view. Missing was Ron Smith, head of the Seattle Police Officer's Guild. He said, “We have to account for privacy when Joe Q. Citizen calls the police and doesn't want the camera in his house. We can't have a confrontation with the public over the cameras. Nothing good comes of that. There has got to be a mechanism for officers to turn off the cameras.” In Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser said it would cost the city $1.5 million annually if police videos were released, the Washington Post reports.