MERRIAM, Kan. — The Ferguson police shooting has Michael Brown’s parents advocating for police body cameras nationwide. In fact, the technology is hitting police departments all over the country. Now Merriam is joining the movement.
When you get pulled over in Merriam, say hello because you’re on camera. All 33 officers now are required to wear body cameras.
“I don’t think our officers are doing anything wrong. If they are, I want to know,” Chief Michael Daniels said.
And now, Chief Daniels will.
The video is sent to a secure database where the footage cannot be changed. Anytime anyone has a complaint, it is pulled and reviewed.
“We’re not doing anything we want to hide,” Chief Daniels said.
The technology is providing a new type of transparency in police departments all over the country, amidst a lot of tension between communities and law enforcement.
“I want citizens to be able to tell me, ‘hey, I think one of your officers was doing something he wasn’t supposed to.’ I can go and find the video and we can look at it together,” Chief Daniels said.
Each officer must have the camera on during every interaction with citizens, demanding accountability on both ends.
“This is kind of a safety net,” Chief Daniels said.