Bremerton police may be wearing body cameras by next year
BREMERTON — By next year, every Bremerton police officer could be equipped with a body camera.
Police Lt. Peter Fisher said the department wants to purchase the cameras after testing them out earlier this year.
“We are always working on building that public trust and that transparency and this is just another mechanism to do that,” said Fisher.
In July, the Police Department completed a pilot program, which allowed several officers to use the cameras. They were mounted on the officers’ uniform or glasses.
Police in Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island have used similar cameras. The Seattle Police Department was also considering using body cameras, but has put the program on hold due to privacy concerns.
“We really want to make sure that they are controlled in a way that they don’t just become another government surveillance camera,” said Jennifer Shaw with ACLU Washington.
Shaw said police departments need to have guidelines and policies in place before they put the cameras on the streets.
“We also want to make sure there are real careful controls on what information is retained, what data is retained, so it’s not used for a fishing expedition later on,” said Shaw.
The Bremerton Police Department is taking a look at policies for using the cameras.
Fisher said the department has allocated $85,000 in next year’s budget for the program.