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Body Cameras Likely For Cincinnati Police Patrol Officers

City of Cincinnati

The Cincinnati Police Department is moving forward with plans to equip its patrol officers with body cameras.

Officials say they're working on having them on the streets by next summer.  Several teams are working on issues surrounding the cameras.

The city is hoping to receive a federal grant to help pay for the body cameras, and could hear if it is successful in several weeks.

Committee Chairman Christopher Smitherman says body cameras should be a priority.

“We can’t afford not to do it,’’ Smitherman said. “The cost of not doing it is so high. And we’re not just talking about dollars here. We’re talking about the entire image of the city.”

Video from the body camera worn by former University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing provided crucial evidence in the murder indictment of Tensing for the July 19 shooting death of Samuel DuBose in a traffic stop.

Several teams within the police department are working on issues related to the cameras including storage, public record requests for video, and when they should be recording.

Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell told the council committee issues of when to turn the cameras on and when to turn them off have to be worked out.

“There have been situations in other cities where the camera clearly should have been on and was not,’’ Blackwell said. “We all know that Cincinnati has a healthy amount of people that will call and come over to my office and try to run me out of town if we have a situation where the camera should be on and it’s not, or there’s a malfunction.”