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Officers' union wants say in how body cameras are deployed

AP file photo by Damian Dovarganes
AP file photo by Damian Dovarganes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As city leaders continue meeting with the Fraternal Order of Police about changes to Jacksonville officers' retirement plan, a new issue for the next union contract came up: body cameras.

During negotiations, officers of the police union told the city that members want to have a written agreement on body camera use spelled out by the city and approved by the union.

"Don't think for a minute when they put a body camera on, and they find you doing something with a body camera on, that it's not going to result in discipline," FOP President Steve Zona said. "We are OK with that it happened, but we want to be able to have a say on the policy on how that is done."

Sheriff Mike Williams has committed to starting a pilot program with officers wearing body cameras in April, and the City Council is considering funding the program. 

City leaders said they are reviewing the new request, so are not ready to respond, but Williams released a statement:

Although the Sheriff hasn’t received a formal briefing on today’s negotiations, he believes the union members will recognize that our citizens want this technology (body-worn cameras) and share in the desire for transparency and accountability."

 

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