All police will wear body cameras in Seattle soon, despite bargaining talks | KUOW News and Information

All police will wear body cameras in Seattle soon, despite bargaining talks

Jul 17, 2017

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has signed an executive order to require officers and sergeants to wear body cameras while on duty. The software has already been piloted in several Seattle neighborhoods.

But Seattle's police officer's union says the full rollout is too soon, because labor negotiations are still underway.

Murray's executive order will require the West Precinct, which includes downtown, to wear body cameras by October. After that, the policy will apply to one more precinct every month.

Murray declined an interview on the topic, but released a recorded video about his executive order.

Murray: "This is good news for officers because it will require evidence of their professionalism. It is good news for the public because it will provide evidence of any misconduct."

Seattle Police Officer's Guild president Kevin Stuckey said he doesn't know why Murray decided to implement the program now, with union negotiations still ongoing.

Murray's order says negotiations will continue on how the cameras would affect work conditions. But Stuckey said that's not what the union wants.

Stuckey: "We don't do effects bargaining in Washington, we do collective bargaining. Implementing something that you're currently negotiating, I wouldn't necessarily call that bargaining in good faith."

Stuckey said the union has unanswered questions, such as when officers will be allowed to turn off the cameras, and how much the technology will cost.

City Council President Bruce Harrell is backing Murray's decision. The council has already approved spending money to buy the hardware.