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City to discuss body-worn cameras for police officers

Recent protests over police brutality spur calls for cameras

SAN ANTONIO – On Wednesday, the San Antonio City Council will receive its second briefing on a body-worn camera pilot program conducted by the San Antonio Police Department.

In March, officers in the downtown bike unit and West Side patrol substation were given six different models of body worn cameras to try.

Results of the pilot program were mixed. San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said the cameras provide more accountability for officers and the citizens they interact with while on patrol.

Supporters of the cameras said the amount of frivolous claims of excessive force can be greatly reduced using these cameras; however, the chief said there are still a few issues to iron out before deciding whether to deploy the cameras department-wide.

McManus said the cameras do have their limitations and cited issues with data storage, battery life, the ability to operate effectively at night, and the placement of the cameras as reasons for delaying a decision.

The council will discuss the issues Wednesday Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. at City Hall.