- Associated Press - Saturday, May 9, 2015

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s police officers are expected to be wearing body cameras this fall, but the police chief first wants to get public input on how officers should use them.

The department has ordered 10 cameras, at $400 apiece, but police chief Susan Riseling says they are back-ordered right now because so many other departments around the country are buying them.

At a recent public listening session with students and faculty, Riseling asked whether officers should have their cameras turned on in health care facilities, according to Wisconsin Public Radio (https://bit.ly/1GVL8oJ ).

That’s where 25 percent of use-of-force incidents take place, she said.

“This is one of the key things that we battle, we’re battling with,” said Riseling. “At first our thought was, ‘Yeah - hospital, medical, just turn it off.’ And then we ran the numbers and realized, ‘Wow, will our public be OK with that?’”

Riseling said in creating a policy, she has looked at policies already in place in departments around the country. Public input will also play a big role in shaping the department’s policy, she said.

She doesn’t expect the cameras to change the way her officers interact with the public, she said.

The cameras will never be “a substitute for values, for training, for supervision, and for holding people accountable,” she said. The camera’s real purpose would be to document interactions, so both police and the public can evaluate where force is used, Riseling said.


Information from: Wisconsin Public Radio, https://www.wpr.org

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