Body camera committee meets for first time

A drill to demonstrate how police body cameras work in certain situations.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — City Council President Andrew Ginther said body cameras for Columbus Police are not an if, but a when scenario.

Today, the Director of Public Safety for the City of Columbus drove that point home on the first meeting of the committee.

“How can we best implement body cameras in the city of Columbus?” George Speaks said.

That nine-member committee came together today for classroom time, learning about the mission of the group, and to go through scenarios that officers face.

In those cases, some of the members wore body cameras, and watched the videos back.

“This is an important issue for the city of Columbus, important for Columbus to get it right. No matter what we implement, make sure we get it right and what is best for Columbus,” Karla Ruthan, Executive Director for Stonewall Columbus said.

The group will focus much of its attention on core issues at hand, policy, cost and privacy.

Director Speaks tells NBC4 they will likely have to go to the state level to get some tweaks to the Sunshine Law, or privacy laws in place.

“We want to be able to redact certain things, if the committee chooses. Should images of bodies graphic images be available for public consumption,” Speaks said.

Over the next several months, this committee will look at scenarios, hear from speakers and experts, then move forward with recommendations.

One of the big issues will be costs.

That will include a possible phase in plan to bring some cameras in, and do it in waves to help with the immediate costs.

Director Speaks wouldn’t speculate on costs, saying that will be presented at a later meeting likely in December.

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