He calls them another tool for police officers.
Frederick, Md (KM) Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor is commenting on concerns raised by State’s Attorney Charlie Smith regarding the use of bodyworn cameras by police officers.
Smith said before Frederick Police purchase more of these cameras, his office will need additional funding so prosecutors can spend the time they need to review the footage, and determine whether there is evidence that can be used in a criminal case.
“The City doesn’t fund the State’s Attorney’s Office,” says Mayor O’Connor, who was guest recently on WFMD’s “Morning News Express.” “The State’s Attorney’s Office is funded through general county taxpayer dollars and whatever allocations they may get from the state. So it wouldn’t be appropriate, in my estimation, for the city to provide an allocation to the State’s Attorney’s Office.”
Smith said in a previous interview on WFMD”s “Morning News Express” that these cameras can present some compelling evidence, but it takes prosecutors a considerable amount of time to go through thousands of hours of footage to find something that could be used in a criminal prosecution. O’Connor had this response. “The time that it takes to go through videotape is not any different than the time that it takes to go through audiotapes from wiretaps you might use to catch a drug dealer,” the Mayor said.
He also said these cameras are just another tool for use in law enforcement. “When we started to collect more blood evidence, there was no expectation that the police should fund the microscopes or the computers to evaluate that. So we’ve adopted a tool,” says O’Connor.
The City hsa been using bodyworn cameras since 2016. The Police Department currently has 18 cameras. The Mayor says the Board of Aldermen last year approved funding in the city’s budget to purchase bodyworn cameras for all of their patrol officers.
By Kevin McManus