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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 7, 2014 at 12:46 PM

SPD body cameras: Praise for Bruce Harrell’s leadership and vision

An officer wears one of the new body cameras that Washington, D.C., police will begin using to document arrests and other incidents. (Win McNamee / Getty Images)

With regard to the article “SPD to test body cameras on a dozen officers,” [Local News, Sept. 24] I think it important to further highlight Councilmember Bruce Harrell’s leadership and vision on this issue. For more than five years, he has been actively advocating the use of police body cameras.

Several weeks ago The Hill, the D.C.-centric political website, provided this partial summary of the White House’s position on body cameras: “The White House on Monday signaled its support for requiring law enforcement to wear body-mounted cameras after the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager last month in Ferguson, Missouri, led to mass protests.” Furthermore, on Sept. 1, it was widely reported throughout the media that the Ferguson police began wearing body cameras. On Sept. 4, New York City began a body-camera program.

My reason for mentioning the White House, Ferguson and New York City’s very recent body camera decisions is to contrast them with Harrell’s much earlier efforts on this issue. Also, not only do those other authorities’ decisions validate Harrell’s efforts, but they show that he is an elected official who knows the benefits of technology as well as the realities of urban living conditions, and has a vision of where we need to be.

Jim Kranick, Snoqualmie

Comments | More in Seattle Police Department | Topics: body cameras, Bruce Harrell, ferguson

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