Buffalo Police Body Cam Policy Unveiled

Police union attorney says there is no downside

Tom Puckett
January 03, 2019 - 4:00 am

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Buffalo Police unveiled their new body cam policy on Wednesday. Rules will require officers to use them at almost any call, but the police union attorne says it's good all around.

Capt. Jeff Rinaldo says the web cam policy requires officers to have the cams on whenever responding to calls and making enforcement action. "The cameras have to be on anytime the officer responds to a call for service, whenever they investigate something, whenever they write a ticket," says Rinaldo. There will be very few exceptions. "Because of HIPPA protections, they should not record inside hospitals, inside places of worship, gym locker rooms or if they're talking to a juvenile or sex assault crime victim."

Rinaldo says the body cams may help in the event of a complaint. "The way that it works is if someone went to internal affairs, the video footage would be reviewed by one of our investigators and the complainant," explains Rinaldo.

Buffalo Police Benevolent Association attorney Tom Burton likes the policy. "I don't think there's a downside for the public or the police, and I think it will be good for all concerned," says Burton. 

Burton says the body cams can help in both extremes. "It may be create complaints, for officers who are allegedly acting inappopriately, that will be easily provable one way or another. They may be essential evidence in deadly force incidents, when handguns come out."

Comments ()