MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – In light of recent events nationwide, police are under a microscope when it comes to policy… that including the use of body camera footage.
Mobile Police’s current policy allows footage to be viewed by someone who is a complainant and has relevance to the footage. However, they are not allowed to record any of it.
Chief Battiste says he stands by their policy in that releasing footage can cause more harm than good in some instances. “If we start adding people that do not have any real standing other than to stir the situation on, I think that we lose that ground that we need to have to be able to have open dialogue about what we are looking and be objective as well.”
MPD believes the public is imperative when it comes to safety, but when it comes to policy it is up to the department to determine what is best. Battiste said this: “We don’t ever want to see Mobile in a situation where we are dealing with civil unrest based on something that has occurred out of Mobile Police, in particular, if there is something we can do to prevent it.”
Body cameras with Mobile Police also go past that of just confrontational situations. Supervisors are required to review a certain percentage of their officers video on a monthly basis. This is to make sure their officers are being held accountable for all of their actions.
Chief Battiste says all of their policies are fluid and if and when changes need to be made, they will be.