Body Cameras Part 1: Will Madison Ever Get Police Body Cameras?

by Safety Connection

What’s happening?

Last April, the Common Council voted unanimously to establish a committee to study whether the Madison Police Department should implement a body-worn camera program. It is the third such committee formed since 2015 to review the merits of the technology.

In January, the Police Body-Worn Camera Feasibility Review Committee completed its final report and model policy and voted 5-1 to recommend a pilot program to equip officers in Madison’s north district with the cameras.

Funding for that pilot program was allocated in the 2021 budget, with a clause that the Council would have to approve the funding upon completion of the report.

And now things have gone political.

Two committees (the Public Safety Review Committee and the Equal Opportunities Commission) have voted to reject moving forward with a pilot project. It will soon head back to Common Council, where its fate will be decided.

Will Madison finally join the 75% (and rising) of police departments our size to utilize body-worn cameras? Will we join the majority of Dane County law enforcement agencies that use them? Or will the second largest city in Wisconsin decide against them yet again?

You can read the rest of our Police Body-worn Camera Series here.

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