- Associated Press - Saturday, December 19, 2015

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - Fort Wayne police are moving ahead with a push to outfit their officers with body cameras, making the department the latest in Indiana to turn to the technology that records police interactions with citizens.

Fort Wayne police announced the effort Friday after a survey found nearly 70 percent of about 1,000 respondents “strongly support” equipping officers in Indiana’s second-largest city with the small camera systems.

It’s unclear how many officers will get the cameras and how soon it will happen, The Journal Gazette reported (https://bit.ly/1NZEaqe ). The department received a $126,000 federal body camera grant in September and later added $114,000 to its budget to outfit about 100 officers with them.

Fort Wayne police stress that body cameras record video and sound from an officer’s location but they don’t “see” exactly the same things an officer does.

“It’s different than being there in person,” police spokesman Officer Michael Joyner said.

The use of body cameras has been debated across the nation following several high-profile cases in which people have died at the hands of police.

In Indianapolis, black leaders urged the city during the summer to equip its officers with body cameras following the fatal August shooting of Andre Green, a 15-year-old carjacking suspect. Authorities said Green’s shooting wasn’t captured by any department cameras.

Indianapolis’s City-County Council approved a $1.1 billion budget in October that includes 150,000 to begin equipping the city’s 900 patrol officers with the cameras. And earlier this year, police in Elkhart in northern Indiana and the central Indiana city of Frankfort both announced plans to equip their officers with the cameras.

Indiana lawmakers are reviewing a number of issues related to body cameras, including when police should have their cameras recording, what footage needs to be retained for the long term and how quickly agencies should be required to release footage to the public.

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Information from: The Journal Gazette, https://www.journalgazette.net

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