SEATTLE, WA The Seattle Police Department is receiving international attention this week after launching a new YouTube page showing videos from body cameras worn by officers.
The police say that their goal is to restore public trust. They have about a dozen videos online at this point, but the department plans to upload videos daily once they get the kinks ironed out.
“Citizens, as these cameras are used more by police departments across the country, are going to want to see the footage that we are capturing.” Seattle Police Chief Operations Officer Mike Wagers said.
The challenge is to balance transparency and privacy. The department wants to ensure that the innocent people in the clips have their faces blurred out so their privacy is not invaded.
The solution they have come up with is to post redacted video. If people see something of interest to them, they can request a more clearly edited clip through a public disclosure request.
The effort was helped out by a concerned citizen named Tim Clemans. He knew the technology existed to get the video online and he wanted police to show all sorts of policing — good examples and bad. He said that bad police efforts needs to be held accountable, but good policing needs to be recognized.
“It’s really become apparent. I have a much greater respect for police officers because I see the tremendous professionalism under extreme circumstances,” Clemans said.