Police body cameras present both problems and solutions to Madison

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin stresses the importance of additional measures besides police body cameras to strengthen relationships between law enforcement and the public.

Image By: Kaitlyn Veto

Although considered “inevitable” by city officials and community members alike at last month’s city council meeting, Madison Police Chief Mike Koval and Mayor Paul Soglin emphasized at a Dec. 5 press conference that the proposed police body camera program will not singlehandedly bridge trust gaps.

“We are going to have body cameras,” Soglin said. “There is no question about that.”

The proposed police body camera program, with an approved $100,000 in funding from the 2015 city budget, will make both civilians and officers safer by increasing transparency, according to Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, at the Nov. 11 Common Council meeting.

However, potential issues regarding privacy need to be addressed as the program is implemented, according to Soglin. Koval cited the creation of a committee representing a variety of perspectives as critical to finding solutions.

“We will attempt to do a very comprehensive outreach establishing a 360 degree perspective on the pros and cons on launching such an initiative,” Koval said.

He added that protocol establishment regarding how the cameras are in use from shift to shift in Madison will be essential.

“I don’t know if I necessarily want to adopt a one-size fits all [policy regarding body cameras] which might work for Chicago, which might work for Milwaukee, which might be abhorrent for [Madison],” Koval said.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Cardinal.