On Tuesday, the Antioch City Council approved in a unanimous vote its policy on body-worn cameras and policy on mobile video/audio recordings.
The moves comes after the Police Oversight Standing Committee, whom the city council holds all five seats, held a special meeting and approved the final language. Several hours later, the council voted 5-0 to approve the policy.
With the approval, the Antioch Police Department immediately moved to implement body cameras on its officers as later that night, the graveyard shift had the cameras on them.
Antioch Police issued the following statement:
Tonight, after several months of hard work and collaboration between members of council and the Police Department, we have reached the point we’ve all been anticipating. As graveyard officers hit the streets tonight, they will be the first to implement body worn cameras in the City of Antioch!!
We are excited and thankful for everyone’s efforts in this process and look forward to continuing to serve the members of our community at the high level that they deserve and we expect to provide!!
At the June 13 meeting, the committee rejected the proposed policy in a 2-3 vote with Mayor Lamar Thorpe and Councilmembers Tamisha Torres-Walker and Monica Wilson all suggesting changes should be made. Councilmembers Mike Barbanica and Lori Ogorchock supported the policy as is and did not want to delay the use of body cameras in the field any longer.
Tidbits from the Policy:
- When to Activate: officers shall activate Body Worn Camera (BWC) prior to initiating investigations and enforcement activity, whether self-initiated or in response to a dispatched call.
- Officers shall not be required to activate or deactivate their BWC based solely on the requests or demands of a citizen, but rather rely on their training and this policy to direct their use of the BWC.
- No employee of this department shall intentionally disable any of the automatic activation features of this BWC system.
- Storage and Retention of Recordings
- Recordings should be retained for a minimum of two-years
- Recordings containing evidence that may be relevant to criminal prosecution should be retained for any additional period of time (until matter is resolved, defendant released from custody or appeal is final)
- March 9, 2021 – Council approved purchase and use of body-worn camera and dash cameras. (see Story)
- April 13. 2021 – Council established the police reform standing committee and then renamed it to Police Oversight Standing Committee – which reviews and recommends policy.
- June 13, 2021 – Antioch Police Oversight Fumbles Over Policy Language Delays Launch of Body Worn Cameras (see Story)