In the wake of more police units nationwide using cameras, the Metro Police Department is considering body-mounted cameras. The small clip-on cameras would record police stops and provide accountability in case officers are accused of wrongdoing. The cameras "will help strengthen the public's trust in the department," Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak told the Las Vegas Sun. But the police union disagrees. It says Metro needs to negotiate with the union first, before moving ahead with the cameras. Should Metro have body-mounted cameras? Would they provide more accountability? And are they worth the money? Call 258-3552 during the live show, or comment below.
Richard Boulware, VP, NAACP, and member, Cameras 2012
Iain Johnston, attorney practicing in law enforcement litigation, Johnston Greene LLC
As a former casino security officer I can definitely say that cameras are a great way to protect yourself from legal problems when you do your job the way you're supposed to. However, I can see that wearing a camera on top of body armor and all your other equipment, it can easily become a hassle especially when officers are constantly getitng in and out of squad cars all day long. Based on personal opinion and the costs of the cameras, I think dash cams are enough.Chris D. –May 24, 2012 18:03:53 PM
Metro can't fit it in the budget? Well, the taxpayer can't fit it in their budget either... $11 million and counting, in less than 5 years. Don't want the cameras? Then buy your own liabilty insurance b/c citizens tired of seeing our taxes being used to pay for these lawsuits... as if the six-figure salary and benefits packages aren't expensive enough?! Metro doesn't want these cameras b/c they don't want to be held accountable. Period.Theresa Price –May 22, 2012 20:56:40 PM
Since 1990, Las Vegas Valley police have been involved in 378 shootings, 142 of them fatal. Metro was responsible for most of them (310 shootings and 115 deaths). That's nearly 18 shootings per year in the Las Vegas Valley, 21 years running. And in accordance with the 9th Circuit Court's history of upholding "qualified immunity" in every single case that's historically come before the court, w/o video-taped evidence, victims have no avenue for recompense, thereby no real workable venue exists to retrieve costs associated with the loss of life or livelihood; not even reimbursement for attorney's fees, court costs, hospital or funeral bills which can and do cost the victim and their families several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Metro misconduct has cost the taxpayer $6,514,918 between 2008-2011 in lawsuits. In 2012, it's expected to be $5 million. Cameras are required; this is not an option for the union or the six-figure salaried officers to debate.Theresa Price –May 22, 2012 20:46:41 PM
I support body cameras. Accountability is good. Start with a volunteer trial period, work out some safeguards so the officers' words/actions aren't being second-guessed trivially, and then implement the mandatory full-time program.Jesse S Taylor –May 22, 2012 10:01:07 AM