Body-worn police cameras are a focal point in Baltimore again, with many questioning why the riot-rocked city isn’t using them yet. Embattled Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is adamant she supports their use and convened a task force that proposed a $1.4 million, six-month pilot program for 100 officers in February. The recommendation came after she vetoed a bill passed by the City Council in November that would have required Baltimore’s nearly 3,000 police officers to wear them. Rawlings-Blake called the bill “well-intentioned” but said it failed to adequately address legal, privacy and funding issues. “Make no mistake, this mayor is very committed to a body camera program,” lawyer and task force co-chair James R. Benjamin Jr. told the Daily News Wednesday. He said the pilot program should start this year and lead to a full roll-out in 2016. “The mayor believes 100 percent in transparency and accountability — and she wanted it done right,” he said. Critics, meanwhile, say it’s taking too long. “I think this process has been unbelievably delayed. She didn’t really need a committee,” Tyrone Powers, a former FBI agent and professor in the Criminal Justice department at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland, told The News…. Read full this story
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