I love it when a news story explaining a meaningless press release that hasn’t even been sent out yet. On June 20, The Maui News reported that Maui Police officials said during the June 17 Police Commission meeting that the department’s body camera study–in which 10 volunteer officers wore cameras donated by Taser–is effectively over. In fact, it apparently ended about six weeks ago.
Assistant Chief John Jakubczak said during the hearing that feedback from the officers in the test was “100 percent positive,” but Chief Tivoli Faaumu cautioned that the department is still “in the testing phase.”
So the test the department announced in April is over but they’re still testing? And while it’s great the officers in the test liked the cameras, but what about the public who showed up in all that camera footage? Thankfully, the MPD issued a press release on June 22 that should clear everything up.
“On May 5, 2015, The Plans, Training, Research and Development Section of the Maui Police Department concluded the 30 day trail [sic] for the body-worn cameras,” stated the press release, which also reported that the cameras met with a lot of positive feedback from officers. “The results of the trial assists the Maui Police Department in our ability to make an informed decision about the implementation of this technology. Maui Police Department continues to research alternative body-worn camera vendors, feasibility issues and funding resources.”
See, it’s very simple: the MPD may eventually someday wear body cameras, unless they don’t.
There are a host of issues raised by police body cameras that neither the MPD’s recent press release nor the above Maui News article addresses. Click here for our primer on those issues.
Photo courtesy Maui Police Department