In addition to the cameras themselves, the departments say the continuing expenses associated with recording, storing and editing footage as required under the new law run high. Officers wearing the cameras are now required to turn them on whenever they suspect something criminal may happen, and departments must make faces unrecognizable before releasing videos to the public.
In formulating Oregon House Bill 2571, signed into law last month , both lawmakers and advocates tussled over balancing individual privacy rights and police accountability. Individuals, especially witnesses, victims of crimes and juveniles ought to be protected from public identification, they argued.
But that provision creates work that smaller departments say they may not be able to afford.
“We did not budget for the staff hours, nor the software required to meet the new requirements under the law,” Bend Police Chief Jim Porter told the Statesman Journal.
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