- Associated Press - Thursday, November 12, 2015

CLEVELAND (AP) - Complaints against Cleveland police officers have fallen since body cameras have been introduced, according to an official in charge of their implementation.

Larry Jones told the City Council’s Safety Committee that between January and September the department’s Office of Professional Standards received 225 complaints against officers, cleveland.com reported (https://bit.ly/1NLvDYk) on Wednesday. During the same period last year, the office received 374 complaints from citizens.

Cleveland police began using body cameras in February, and every front-line officer has been equipped with one since September, he said. Officials previously said both police officers and the public are more likely to behave appropriately when they know the interaction is being videotaped. Additionally, citizens are not as likely to file false complaints.

Deputy Chief Dornat Drummond said police use of force has dropped up to 60 percent too, though he did not say if that drop happened after the cameras were issued.

The city bought 1,500 cameras in January for $2.4 million. Officers must record pedestrian or vehicle investigative stops, pursuits and emergency driving situations, crime or accident scenes, physical violence, civil disturbances, criminal suspicious activity or police use-of-force incidents, according to the department’s policy. They also must inform residents that the interaction is being recorded.

More than 70,000 videos were uploaded to the department in October, Drummond said. The videos are subject to public records requests.

“What’s going to be released might be different because it depends on what’s going on,” Drummond said. “If there is a shooting involving an officer, we can’t release that information until the conclusion of the investigation. If there are lawsuits, we won’t release it until the conclusion of the lawsuits.”


Information from: cleveland.com, https://www.cleveland.com

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