body cameras

Utility Corporation

 

Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau has faced criticism for a delay in rolling out body cameras for her deputies.  The sheriff said, however, the camera technology her department will soon use is state-of-the-art and has the capacity to do more than what is currently being done by the San Antonio Police Department body cameras.

Ryan E. Poppe

In 2015, the 84th Legislature approved $10 million for the purchase of body cameras through a matching grant program that is overseen by the Governor’s office.  But since taking affect this past September; questions remain among state lawmakers as to when and how the tapes could be released to the public.

It's increasingly likely that the next time you have an encounter with a police officer, he or she will be wearing a body camera. And depending on how things go, you may be left wondering: "Can I get a copy of that video?"

There's no single answer to that, or other pressing questions, such as whether you can tell an officer you don't want to be recorded. In the year and a half since the Ferguson, Mo., protests, police departments have been rushing to adopt the cameras.

But when it comes to body camera policies, departments are all over the map.

By now, we've all heard about how body cameras could prevent more police violence, or at least catch it in the act. But what about cameras to protect special-needs kids from their own teachers — and the teachers themselves from false accusations?

It'll be a reality soon in Texas. The Lone Star State passed a law in June that made it the first in the nation to make it mandatory for schools — if asked to do so — to videotape interactions between teachers and their special-needs students.

City of San Antonio

The San Antonio City Council overwhelming approved today a $16.6 million contract with TASER International to provide the San Antonio Police Department with 2,200 body cameras. 

Police Chief William McManus says a final decision has not been made regarding specifically who will get the cameras.

"The thought was to issue them to sergeants and officers," McManus said. "We had further discussion on that, moving it up higher in the rank structure.”

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