On September 8th, OPCR staff presented the Body Camera Implementation Research and Study to a packed PCOC meeting. The study looked at data from the three listening sessions, surveys and national best practices. The report is broken down into seven categories of recommendations: (1) activation, (2) deactivation, (3) restrictions, (4) notification, (5) viewing, (6) public access and retention, and (7)accountability. Some key findings of the study indicates that body cameras should be activated for all community contact. The study focused on practices in other jurisdictions, including Burnsville and Duluth, academic studies, and information provided by other advocacy organizations like the ACLU. The recommendations incorporated feedback from the door surveys at the listening sessions and other community events. Common themes in the community comments are that cameras should be activated as much as possible and limited discretion. The community feedback indicates that consent is a concern, and SWAT use of body cameras.
The goals of the policy is to create trust while promoting accountability and transparency. Officer responsibilities include verbally informing for nonconsenual when practical. For consensual encounters in private place, inform. The restrictions require that officer in off duty employment are in uniform and have arrest powers they must wear the camera. SWAT members should wear the PVR. Supervisors shall conduct random monthly reviews for compliance, classification, and possible misconduct. The PCOC recommended a large change to the recommended Activation policy. The PVR shall be in record during consensual contacts, calls for service, and all law enforcement activities. A PVR should not be activated for the purpose of surveillance, and shall not be used at legal assemblies to record those individuals engaged in legal conduct. The PCOC recommends a rebuttable presumption that if video is not available in a case when it should be its a strike against the officer. There should be a six month grace period before that presumption should apply. Deactivation further details when a camera can be turned off; when the scene is cleared, contact terminated, or transport is complete. More details can be found in the policy itself. Vice-Chair Jennifer Singleton moved for the PCOC to adopt the Body Camera Implementation Research and Study. The motion passed.
The PCOC is undertaking another research and study about the “doesn’t fit any crime” arrests. Supervisor Ryan Patrick discussed the proposed methodology for the study. 768 of these miscellaneous charges from August 1, 2012 to August 1, 2015. The goals of the study to determine if arrests are because of database limitations, or other reasons, and identify trends. The study will look at different factors including: whether there were multiple offenses listed for the arrest, the statute cited, whether another CAPRS code identifies the offense, whether the arrestee was booked or cited, demographic data, compare the “MISC” arrest rates of the precincts, whether the arrest rates vary across the city, arrests based on date and time, and whether the arrestee was charged. The PCOC adopted the research and study methodology.
The PCOC conducted several usual business items including committee chairs sharing committee reports. The PCOC reviewed case synopses and summaries. Cases 6,7, and 9 will be the case summaries at the next meeting. The next PCOC meeting will be at 6:00 on Tuesday, October 13th.