SARASOTA (WWSB) - Sarasota City Commissioners may have waited too long to act on implementing police body cameras. Three years after getting 24 cameras through a federal grant, Police Chief Bernadette Dipino says the cameras are now outdated.
Plans were in the works to start using the cameras in 2015. But after a brief trial period, a resident threatened to sue if he wasn’t given access to all the video shot during the testing phase. By the time the video was redacted to maintain the privacy of those depicted, City Commissioners voted to wait for more direction from the state.
Now, on the same day North Port Police are starting their own body camera testing phase, Sarasota Police Officers are still in a holding pattern.
Mayor Liz Alpert is a supporter of the concept of police body cameras.
“I think overall it’s a good thing for them to have them. I think it provides some evidence of what’s going on, whether you look at the person being arrested or the police officer. I think it benefits both,” Mayor Alpert said.
Those who oppose body cameras cite privacy being invaded.