Baltimore City Delays Launch of Police Body Cameras

Baltimore City has delayed the launch of its police body camera program from May 1 to the end of the month.

As reported in The Baltimore Sun:

The first 500 officers will start wearing the body-worn cameras at the end of this month at the earliest, Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith said Wednesday. In March, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said the program would begin May 1.

“This is the fault of us as an administration,” Smith said, adding that the May 1 date “might have been a bit premature.”

The department began receiving cameras this week and has started “training the trainers,” Smith said. Officers must undergo eight hours of training before wearing the cameras.

Smith said special units, such as the command staff and the Special Investigations Response Team, or SIRT, which investigates shootings by officers and deaths in police custody, will be trained first, followed by the first group of 500 officers.

Rawlings-Blake said Wednesday that her focus is making sure the program is implemented properly. She did not say what caused the delay.

“You can’t get exact dates to get your bathroom redone,” Rawlings-Blake said. “This is a major undertaking, a citywide undertaking of getting police cameras, and [we] want to make sure we get it right.

The article notes that the police department still plans to have all 2,500 officers trained and equipped by January 2018.

For more information read the full article in The Baltimore Sun.

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