Cincinnati Officer sees pros and cons of body cameras - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Cincinnati Officer sees pros and cons of body cameras

CINCINNATI (FOX19) -

Cincinnati Police officers are currently in the middle of a 30 day trial period using body cameras.

It is the newest addition to Officer Kyle Strunk's uniform.

"Certainly one of the pros is certainly telling people exactly what happened and being able to show the video to prove that is what happened," said Strunk.

With a touch of a button, a camera strapped to his chest can see, hear and record everything he does. It is a device that he says could be pretty helpful in court. For the last few weeks, he has recorded every traffic stop he makes.

"Per our procedure it is any nonconsensual encounter with a citizen whether it be a traffic stop or a pedestrian stop where you get out and talk to somebody because they committed a violation," said Strunk.

But in the two weeks he's worn it, Officer Strunk has noticed a downside. The distraction of being a photographer and a cop.

"At times you can find yourself looking down at the camera thinking about is it on, is it off ...  when you should be thinking about the situation you are involved in. The last thing you want to do is get hurt because you are looking down at your camera," said Strunk.

The personal control each officer has over their body cameras continues to come under fire. While officers are told to record every nonconsensual encounter with the public, they also have the ability to record any encounter at their discretion. However, some say it is the choice not to record that could cause trouble.

"I can't argue with the people that say officers can turn the cameras off, they can. It's true, you can. But at the end of the day you'll have to answer for why you turned it off," said Strunk.

Right now, only a few of the cameras are being used while Cincinnati Police decides which one, if any, body cameras will be required. If they are, Officer Strunk says the good far outweighs the bad.

"You know every day there is men and women out here that do amazing things and hopefully if everything is going to be on video now more people will get to see that," said Strunk.

Related: Congressman wants body cameras for officers nationwide

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