- Associated Press - Monday, October 31, 2016

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa State University campus police are using body cameras but because no formal policy for the technology has been adopted, it is unclear when the public has the right to see the videos.

Campus police began using cameras this summer under a draft policy that the department has refused to release. There is no timeline for when a formal policy may be finalized, according to the Des Moines Register (https://dmreg.co/2eMl9g7 ).

University interim police chief Aaron DeLashmutt said the public safety department wants to make sure privacy rights are looked at before making a policy public.

A review of news articles and university websites showed more campuses are having officers use body cameras to increase police accountability and reduce concerns of possibly officer misconduct. According to the department’s online daily crime log, ISU’s officers have been involved in 459 cases since Aug. 1, 290 of which ended in an arrest. Because body camera footage is not yet public, it’s unclear whether the arrests were captured by the cameras.

The Community Oriented Policing division of the justice department recommended that agencies should have policies in place before using body cameras, so officers have guidance and the public is aware of when devices are turned on and off.

“Body cameras have been presented to the public as a tool for law enforcement administration and the public to benefit from,” said Randy Evans, executive director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council. “The fact that police officers know what the policy says and the public doesn’t, doesn’t instill a lot of confidence from the public in the ISU police.”

ISU student government president Cole Staudt said that although campus police told the organization that officers were going to wear body cameras, no student input was sought while developing the policy.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, https://www.desmoinesregister.com

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