Seattle Police Department car
Seattle PD May Scrap Body Camera Plan Due to Public Record Request (CREDIT: Matthew Zalewski / WikiMedia Commons)

Just weeks before a six-month pilot program is supposed to launch, the Seattle Police Department is considering canceling its plan to outfit officers with body cameras.

The pilot program, which is supposed to “outfit 12 officers with body-worn cameras and test two different styles,” is in jeopardy due to a public records request that could financially “cripple” the city, according to The Seattle Times.

But the plan to equip more than 1,000 officers by 2016 could be shelved due to public-disclosure requests already filed by one anonymous citizen and the expectation of others for access to all the recordings, said Mike Wagers, the Police Department’s chief operating officer.

… On Tuesday, the anonymous citizen filed a public-disclosure request with the Police Department seeking daily updates that Wagers said would be virtually impossible for the department to fulfill.

The citizen, only known by the email address [email protected], is seeking details on every 911 dispatch on which officers are sent; all the written reports they produce; and details of each computer search generated by officers when they run a person’s name, or check a license plate or address.

“If the issues are about transparency and accountability, there’s common ground there,” Wagers told The Seattle Times, while adding, “This would just shut down so many other aspects of our operation responding to a request of this nature.”

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