RESOLUTION NO. RS2017-588
A resolution requesting immediate purchase of at least 168 Metropolitan Police Department body cameras for the officers and supervisors responding to proactive calls for service, and that funding for Metropolitan Nashville Police Department body cameras be provided in Mayor Megan Barry’s proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget, with a timetable for deployment beginning by June 30, 2017 and with implementation policies that provide for public access, independent oversight, transparency, and accountability.
WHEREAS, the need for Metropolitan Nashville Police Department body cameras has been highlighted by recent events, most notably the tragic death of Mr. Jocques Clemmons on February 10, 2017;
WHEREAS, body cameras can be useful tools that provide protection for law enforcement officers as well as accurate and complete documentation of law enforcement activities;
WHEREAS, a 2016 survey of the nation’s largest police departments, conducted by the Major Cities Chiefs Association and Major County Sheriffs' Association, found that ninety-five percent (95%) planned to implement a body camera program within the near future; and
WHEREAS, in Tennessee, law enforcement agencies are already using or testing body cameras, including the Knox County Sheriff's Office and the police departments in Gallatin, Millersville, Memphis and Chattanooga. Other agencies, including the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Franklin Police Department have discussed or are considering body camera use;
WHEREAS, in October of 2016, Mayor Megan Barry committed to include funding for body cameras to be used by Metropolitan Nashville Police Department officers in the budget proposed for Fiscal Year 2018, and the MNPD is currently working with the Mayor’s Office to determine equipment costs and staffing requirements; and
WHEREAS, in addition to proper funding, maintaining pubic confidence requires a timeline for deployment of body cameras as soon as possible, in phases, beginning no later than June 30, 2017; and
WHEREAS, it is additionally vital to the successful deployment of body cameras that fair and effective policies and procedures be adopted for their implementation; and
WHEREAS, model programs for the implementation of body cameras are available from national sources, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Police Executive Research Forum; and
WHEREAS, it is in the best interests of the citizens and residents of Nashville and Davidson County that the body camera policies and procedures eventually adopted include mechanisms that ensures access by the public or an independent agency, transparency, and accountability. In pursuit of these values, the adopted policies and procedures should include or address the following:
1) Body camera data must eventually be accessible to the public, or at least to an agency independent of the police department such as a civilian review board, to ensure that the data provides accountability and transparency;
2) Disciplinary measures must be established for law enforcement officers who fail to activate body cameras in violation of standard procedures, or who intentionally fail or even sabotage content of body cameras. Law enforcement officers must be required to explain why an encounter was not recorded when procedures required it. Failure to record an event, store recordings, or the misuse of the system must be an actionable offense resulting in discipline up to and including termination. Intentionally turning off the system in anticipation of the use of force must be absolutely forbidden and must serve as grounds for termination or suspension;
3) Law enforcement officers involved in use-of-force incidents should not be permitted to view body camera footage before issuing statements about such incidents;
4) Storage methods for body camera data should rely upon cloud-based storage systems that reduce infrastructure costs and facilitate transfer of data;
5) Privacy interests of those inadvertently or unintentionally captured on body cameras, including minors, innocent bystanders, and those falsely implicated in criminal activity, must be protected, perhaps through a process of anonymizing the faces of those who appear on camera as implemented in Seattle, Washington.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:
Section 1. That the Metropolitan County Council hereby goes on record as requesting immediate purchase of at least 168 Metropolitan Police Department body cameras for the officers and supervisors responding to proactive calls for service using the necessary funds from the 4% fund, and funding of Metropolitan Nashville Police Department body cameras in the proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget with a timetable for deployment, in phases, beginning no later than June 30, 2017 and with implementation policies that provide for public access, independent oversight, transparency, and accountability.
Section 2. That the Metropolitan Clerk is directed to send a copy of this Resolution to Mayor Megan Barry, Metropolitan Nashville Police Department Chief Steve Anderson, District Attorney General Glenn Funk and Sheriff Daron Hall.
Section 3. That this Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.
Sponsored by: Karen Johnson, Erica Gilmore, Tanaka Vercher, Brenda Haywood, Sam Coleman, Nancy VanReece, Fabian Bedne
|Referred to:||Budget & Finance Committee
Public Safety, Beer, and Regulated Beverages Committee
|Introduced:||March 7, 2017|
|Adopted:||March 7, 2017 - Roll Call Vote|
|Returned unsigned by the Mayor:||March 8, 2017|
Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615/862-6770.