Newport City Councilman John Florez is introducing a resolution calling for members of the Newport Police Department to wear body cameras when out on patrol and dealing with the public.

Here’s the resolution:

WHEREAS, In light of recent events highlighted in the national media, Hayward, CA, Messa, CA, New York City and hundreds of other police departments have started embracing the use of body cameras for their police departments; AND

WHEREAS, Body Cameras will give the police department a valuable tool to establish mutual accountability and trust between them and the citizens they are sworn to protect; AND

WHEREAS, Body Cameras will help protect the City and Police from frivolous lawsuits in cases where someone makes a false or exaggerated claim; AND

WHEREAS, Body Cameras simplify the report writing process for police officers. They have assisted in grand jury and trial testimony by erasing any ambiguity from eye witness accounts; AND

WHEREAS, The City of Newport, Rhode Island strives to be a progressive city and at the forefront of technology. Body Cameras are cutting edge technology that will inevitably have universal acceptance. It’s in the best interest of the city to take proactive steps that will have a beneficial impact on all of its citizens; NOW, THEREFORE BE IT

RESOLVED, That the administration investigate possible funding sources for a one year pilot program for the use of body cameras and report back to the council on or before June 30, 2015.

Pretty sure every member of the Newport Police department just spit out their coffee and they weren’t even drinking any.

Sounds like a no brainer, right?

After all, studies have shown that

• Use of body cameras reduce use-of-force incidents by 59 percent
• Use of body cameras reduce citizens’ complaints by 87.5 percent
• Shifts without cameras were twice as likely to experience incidents of use-of-force as shifts with cameras.

Hmm… I wonder why that would be?

It will be interesting to see how this one shakes out.

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