Concerns remain but Ginther says body cams for officers happening

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)– There are many hoops still to jump through from cost to privacy, but City Council President Andrew Ginther says Columbus Police officers will get body cameras.

“We felt this is an additional step to a more comprehensive approach to enhance and protect the sacred trust an officer has with a community,” Ginther said.

The move will come after a report put together by police leaders, community leaders and some in the faith community is presented to decision makers at the city level.

“I believe that we will ensure they have the resources, this committee will issue the report by the end of the year to make sure it is done in a comprehensive, thoughtful, and effective way,” Ginther said.

Ginther tells NBC4 the move is to make sure that officers can do their job safely, despite knowing that this will cost the city millions of dollars.

“This is quickly becoming a best practice around the country, and Columbus should lead the way in getting it done,” Ginther said.

Jason Pappas is the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #9 President, and has some concerns on moving forward with a program like this.

“The expense, $10 to $15 million to implement that program, is not worth the 15-20 runs when we have so many tools we could be using,” Pappas said.

He says the critical incidents where video could be reviewed, isn’t worth the money they could use on Tasers, upgrades at substations, and more.

Pappas also noted the privacy issue, and questions on how this will impact investigations.

“Privacy rights of the public, very concerned of interaction with a domestic violence, sexual assault case, those that are sensitive in nature.  You have cameras and someone that is nervous about giving information while being videotaped; now it is slim.  We believe it could have a chilling effect in some cases moving forward, Pappas said.

Privacy issues and protocols are something that Ginther says will have to be worked out, both at the state and federal level, but he stands by what he said Wednesday. That there is no question that body cameras for Columbus police will it happen.

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