Phoenix Police Not Wearing Body Cameras While Moonlighting

Published: Monday, June 12, 2017 - 11:24am
Updated: Monday, June 12, 2017 - 1:11pm
(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
Full deployment of body-worn cameras on all Phoenix officers estimated to cost more than $11 million.

Phoenix was one of the first cities to mandate police wear body cameras, but a survey by the Associated Press shows it is among a handful not requiring officers wear the gear while working as contractors.

That means officers who moonlight for Chase Field ball games or at private construction sites, for instance, are not recording their interactions with the public.

Among the top 20 cities surveyed, Phoenix was among six of the largest not requiring cameras be worn.  New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Charlotte, and Columbus, Ohio join our state on that list.

Police department administrators argue there isn’t enough equipment to lend while an officer is working off-duty.

Michael White, a criminology professor at Arizona State University, helps many cities with training and technical assistance using the body cameras. He said among the 170 departments receiving U.S. Justice Department grant money for the body cameras, it’s rare to find written equipment policies regarding moonlighting officers.

“It’s an evolving issue, but I think it’s something departments will need to start addressing,” he said. “It should be a part of the uniform just like anything else.”

Civil liberties attorneys want the cameras required gear for any officer issued bullets and a uniform.

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