- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - A pilot project is being discussed in Grand Rapids that could include the use of body cameras as part of a broader effort to improve police relations with the public.

The Grand Rapids Press reports (https://bit.ly/1wEU0hm ) that most city leaders say they support giving body cameras a try and many residents at a Tuesday hearing reiterated their desire to see that happen.

Other changes called for at the hearing include a racial profiling study, psychological testing to determine any underlying racial bias that police officers may have, a task force to study how to improve public attitudes toward police and targeted recruitment of black police officers.

Andy Bingel, president of the Grand Rapids Police Officers Association, says they’re not opposed to the cameras, but they worry about the cost. Roughly $1 million could be spent on cameras and Bingel says that same money could add eight to 10 officers to the department.

President Barack Obama has promoted the use of body cameras by police in the wake of the August shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

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Information from: The Grand Rapids Press, https://www.mlive.com/grand-rapids

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