Many law enforcement agencies locally don't have body cameras, b - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Many law enforcement agencies locally don't have body cameras, but want them

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

The conversation around police and their use of body cameras has developed all over the country in light of recent officer-involved shootings. 

The discussion on Cincinnati Police using body cams really began in earnest after the shooting death of Sam DuBose last July.

In September, the Cincinnati City Council requested the CPD equip all officers with body cameras by early 2016. Last week, the department laid out its plan for body cameras, which will go into effect August 1. 

So, FOX19 NOW took a more in-depth look at body cams for police officers. We went around and spoke to police departments on both sides of the issue.

Some that are in favor of body cams and others who are concerned they may not tell the whole story when it comes to police work.

“Kill me, Kill me, Kill me now,” are the words that were spoken by Javier Aleman. He’s the man who can be heard almost daring Glendale Police officer Josh Hiling to take him down.

Aleman was shot and also had a knife in his hand. He plead guilty last week for felonious assault and will serve about 11 years for the March 29 incident on I-75.

The incident showed how body cameras can capture good police work and Hilling has been widely praised for the way he handled the situation.

They can also show questionable work like the incident with DuBose and former UC officer Ray Tensing.

“If we are doing our job right then we shouldn't even be concerned that we are wearing a camera,” said Glendale officer Steve Keist.

He's been a cop for 18 years and with the Glendale Police department for the last 6. They just got body cameras at the beginning of this year. Keist told us even before this incident with Almean in April became a big national story,  everyone there was on board with wearing them.

“We don't have a problem with it we just see it as another tool that helps us to eliminate a lot of the complaints that citizens file against us,” he said.

But not everyone is on board with body cameras.

“So I’m not opposed to videos they do have their purpose,” said Newtown Police Chief Thomas Synan.

His department doesn't have body cameras. and it’s fair to say he's Luke warm to the idea. 

My concern when we are talking about should officers wear body cameras,” he said from his office. “They have their pros,  but they have their cons. Part of it is we need to do a better job, in law enforcement, politicians and the media and we need to do a better job in explaining to the public, not just sides of a story,” he continued.

He went on to say, “Everyone is kind of right and everyone is kind of wrong. What we need to be telling each other is this is what I hear, see, touch and smell. And this is what you hear, see, touch and smell. I promise you, if we did that most of this would not be a racial issue as much as fear.”

“Fear on all sides and that's what we get from these videos and we can't look at a video and just see it and analyze it and say well that’s what I think happened.

We actually have to wait and hear from all sides and we have to take that into account,” he said.

He showed a dash cam video which at first looks silly with no context. A man gets out of a truck dancing in the street yelling, “Here I am, here I am,” basically daring an officer to shoot him.

The two got went yelling back and forth and the suspect did not listen to commands from the officer. Eventually, the suspect fired shots at the officer striking his patrol car.

The man would take off and be later caught. When he was interviewed by the FBI, it was later learned that he was an Army Vet and suffering from PTSD. Synan said this is an example of what the video did not show.

And a headline may have been officer shoots army vet suffering from PTSD.

“So my concern with video cameras, and I don't think we have taken enough time to vet them. “Often no matter who's side it is, whoever puts the video out first that is considered the truth. And then when the truth comes out there is so much public opinion that no one listens to the truth and when the facts come out we are both discounting those facts.”

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