Body cameras to be worn by more Milwaukee police officers
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Oct. 15, 2015) -- More Milwaukee Police officers will soon add body cameras to their uniforms. The city's Fire and Police Commission voted, Thursday, to put cameras on more than 1,000 officers by next year.
A total of 1,200 officers will wear them. According to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) approved Thursday night, the cameras must be worn for the officer's entire shift, but, they won't be turned on the entire time, only when the officer is conducting an investigation or enforcement. Any video recorded will be stored for 130 days, longer if it becomes the subject of a lawsuit.
"I think the policy was carefully crafted and based on extensive research and has withstood scrutiny," said Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn.
Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontre Hamilton, the man shot by former Milwaukee police officer Christopher Manney in 2014, says still waiting to see video from the cameras pointing at Red Arrow Park the day her son was shot. She fears another family would have to wait for body camera footage should they want to see it.
"Only the police department, only the Chief of Police, only their supervisors have the right to view this footage and I'm appalled by it," Hamilton said.
The police department will begin rolling out the first 200 body cameras on October 21 in two districts. The next 1,000 cameras will be rolled out in segments every few months. A member asked for regular reporting back to the Fire and Police Commission. The SOP is a "live" document subject to periodic changes. It will be regularly reviewed by MPD administration as well as the Fire and Police Commissioners.