Sirens & Gavels

Sheriff, ombudsman want patrol cameras

Post Falls police Officer J.D. Putnam returns to his car after a traffic stop on Friday. The department uses Coban in-car cameras to record every stop officers make. (Kathy Plonka)
Post Falls police Officer J.D. Putnam returns to his car after a traffic stop on Friday. The department uses Coban in-car cameras to record every stop officers make. (Kathy Plonka)

For police agencies, cameras that record officer encounters with the public can help prove suspects are guilty and set the record straight if officers are wrongly accused of misconduct.

“It tells you the facts,” Post Falls police Capt. Pat Knight said. “It keeps us out of trouble.”

Over the years, law enforcement officials in Spokane County have largely dismissed cameras as not worth the cost. But as agencies deal with high-profile cases of alleged misconduct, the cameras are getting a new look.

Spokane police Ombudsman Tim Burns recommended in his annual report to City Council earlier this month that cameras be installed in police cars to provide definitive evidence in cases that otherwise would be mostly the officer’s word against the accuser’s.

Read Jonathan Brunt's full story here.




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