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City Official Proposes Body Cameras For Springfield Police

Brian Bull

The Springfield City Prosecutor is recommending that city police look into using body cameras. 

At a recent Springfield City Council meeting, Matt Cox made the case for the devices.  He says they’ve been effectively used by other police departments around Oregon, and are important for accountability and transparency.

And from a prosecutor’s point of view, Cox says body cam footage can eliminate "gray areas".

“Sometimes it’s hard to describe a situation, sometimes it’s hard to describe an individual," Cox tells KLCC.

"But when the jury or prosecutor sees that person on video, being crystal-clear, “Okay, that’s exactly who that witness was trying to describe.”

Springfield officials haven’t acted on the proposal yet. Cox says funding is a big issue.

The City of Eugene implemented its program over two years ago, with the help of grants.  Officials paid $250,000 towards a federal matching grant the EPD received in 2017.  The biggest costs are docking stations, software, and video storage demands for the body cameras.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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