FOP Lodge 91 President weighs in.
Frederick, Md (KM) If bodyworn cameras are to be used by police officers, the department must work with local prosecutors before purchasing the equipment, especially about how thousands of hours of footage will be reviewed. That comment comes from Charlie Snyder, the President of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 91 which represents Frederick Police officers.
‘I think they’re a good thing. But we have to have a program in place that looks at the State’s Attorney’s aspect because if cases are getting dropped, that is a problem also,” he says.
Snyder was a guest recently on WFMD’s “Morning News Express.”
He says thee cameras, which are used by officers to record encounters with citizens or other individuals, can be useful to law enforcement. “When we’re using them, everybody else has a camera out there on the phone. So it gives a perspective from the police officer’s side,” he says.
During an appearance last week on the “Morning News Express,” State’s Attorney Charlie Smith said these cameras can provide some compelling evidence. But he says reviewing the footage from these cameras can take up a lot of staff time and money. And if his office cannot do that, a judge could order the case dismissed.
Snyder says that would make a lot of officers unhappy. “Cops don’t that,” he said. “When they make a good arrest and they have a good case, they want it to move forward.”
Smith also said he may need a whole division to review bodyworn camera footage.
The Frederick Police Department has 18 bodyworn cameras, and is expected to provide them to all of its officers this year. The Sheriff’s Office does not use bodyworn cameras.
By Kevin McManus