The latest: No body cameras on correctional officers in 6 Wisconsin prisons despite order to do so
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin's Department of Corrections has missed a deadline in order to put body cameras on certain correctional officers. On Tuesday, some Democrats placed blame on Governor Scott Walker - saying his administration is ignoring the law.
The law, passed in the 2017 budget, required the state to provide body cameras for correctional officers working in restrictive housing units at the DOC's six maximum security prisons.
The law also called for a report to see if the body cameras had any effect on the number of reported assaults for staff and inmates.
That was all supposed to happen before July 1.
The program, known as Act 59 in the state budget, was allotted $591,400 in funding. Democrats like State Representative Evan Goyke in Milwaukee say there has been no progress.
"Ultimately this is a large agency with a budget of over a billion dollars per year. And in my opinion, as a member of the legislature, they should be able to get the 200 body cameras that we've instructed them to get by law," Rep. Goyke said.
Governor Scott Walker said the missed deadline was not intentional but was instead an issue of supply and demand.
"Well, the biggest thing as I understand from corrections is that people all across the nation in law enforcement are using them so their not as easy to get right now as they originally thought they would be," Gov. Walker said.
State Senator Jennifer Shilling of Lacrosse says that explanation is insufficient. In a statement, she said, "No one wants to work in a facility where they're short staffed, where they don't have the proper security equipment, and where they are forced to gamble with their personal safety every day."
Rep. Goyke agrees.
"What's troubling to me about this report is if they can't even buy 200 body cameras and equip them in nine months when you give them the money to do that, it's a sign of problems for the future reforms we need to see happen," Rep. Goyke said.
Governor Walker is in support of authorities use of body cameras and said that the DOC is working to put the program in action.
"Well, when Democrats were in charge they didn't have any. Of course, they going to blame things that they did. We want them to have body cameras just like we want law enforcement to have them across the state. And our expectation is that they'll have them this year," Gov. Walker said.