Grand Rapids City Commission unanimously approves body cameras

Jan 27, 2015

Grand Rapids police officer.
Credit Flickr user lincolnblues / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

The Grand Rapids City Commission unanimously decided this morning to approve requiring city police to wear body cameras.

Michigan Radio's West Michigan reporter Lindsey Smith says the decision is part of a $1.5 million public safety plan that was unveiled earlier this month. The plan also includes hiring more police officers, a study of racial profiling in the area, and creating more inclusive hiring practices for the city, according to Smith.

Before the plan can be enacted, many of the details still have to be worked out, such as funding, data storage, and privacy issues.

"The body cameras are really not going to be a phased in until there is a clear, set-in-stone, legal policy to make sure that privacy issues aren't being stepped on," Smith says.

Smith says some officers could begin wearing cameras as early as March, and the city manager would like the full police force to be equipped with them by the end of the year.