The police union in Cincinnati is demanding cops be paid more money to wear body cameras.
The FOP sent the city “a cease and desist” letter saying that the cameras shouldn’t be worn until city officials sit down at the bargaining table.
“Requiring employees to wear BWCs will change several aspects of their job and regularly assigned duties,” wrote Stephen Lazarus, an attorney for FOP lodge #69. Cincinnati.com reports that unions around the country are insisting they have a say in the process of wearing cameras.
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #69 President Dan Hils told local media: “You want us to wear something new, it needs to be collectively bargained. The responsibility should increase our compensation.”
But Monday, Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black said he has the right to order cops to wear the cameras and added that their presence protects cops “from frivolous and fraudulent claims.” Black added that the body cams would “make our streets safer and reinvigorate our commitment to transparency.”
FOP officials disagree. They say not many officers want to be monitored and “while cameras may show some of what happened, they typically don’t show everything an officer is seeing and reacting to.”
During Monday’s news conference, however, there were officers who spoke to local media saying they had no problem strapping on the cameras immediately, and also noted that fellow police officers from around the country call on them as an example.
Cincinnati PD has been recognized as “a role model for community police relations across the country” by the US attorney general.
As far as the increase in pay, there are no planned negotiations at the moment. Black has suggested the city can afford a 3% raise for officers, while the mayor has called for a 5 % raise.
The Body Camera pay would come in addition to any raise officers would get, according to officials.
A seven-year agreement with TASER, the camera maker could cost taxpayers up to $6 million.
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