DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Police Protective Association is suing the City and County of Denver calling the new body camera policy illegal.
Denver’s police union says they were never consulted on the program, and in a statement said the program will build distrust amongst community members and the officers expected to use the cameras.
Denver’s police union says the city wanted body cameras on their officers so badly they broke a collective bargaining agreement to get them. Detective Nick Rogers, Denver Police Protective Association President, says the program is flawed.
“We’re trying to get this done right. They’re just trying to just get it done,” Rogers said.
More than $6 million are being spent to equip officers with body cameras, and Denver Police Department administrators say they’ve been open about the process.
“We have had officers involved in the policy since the Day 1. We had a committee of officers who actually were in a pilot program with about 100 cameras,” said Denver Police Deputy Chief Matt Murray.
There was a series of public hearings and police say even officers were supportive of the program.
The union says the policy is, in part, too broad, and should not require recording in some circumstances such as sex crimes or incest.
“There are situations where there are crime victims or witnesses that could not or should not be videotaped at a time in their life when they’re vulnerable,” Rogers said. “This policy doesn’t address that.”
Denver Police expect officers to begin recording at the beginning of a call and shut it off when an incident is completed. Their differences now will have to be settled in court.
Despite the lawsuit, the Chief Robert White and Mayor Michael Hancock are going forward with the program. Body cameras will appear on officers downtown before the end of the year.