(KMOV.com) – Some high profile incidents involving police could have been cleared up had the body cameras on the officers involved been turned on.
A recent incident in Wellston is a notable example. A Wellston police officer shot at a suspect, but the body camera he was wearing was not turned on.
“This points out we need effective policy around those cameras,” said John Chasnoff with the Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression.
Chasnoff said departments need to have clear rules when it comes to when cameras should be on or off. He does not believe they need to be turned on at all times.
“When an officer is in his car discussing his family with his partner, that doesn’t need to be recorded,” Chasnoff said.
Chasnoff said there are other situations where privacy dictates that an officer turn the camera off, such as when he or she enters a private home, or speaks with a witness about a crime. However, Chasnoff argues that police departments that make expensive investments in transparency should have cameras on when officers interact with the public.
The Chief of Wellston Police told News 4 his department started using the cameras recently and also said body cameras do not capture everything because they only shoot what is straight in front of the officer.