Diversity & Inclusion
Municipal government

Delaware wants statewide body cameras for cops

Gov. Jack Markell discussed the possible implementation of body cameras with law enforcement and NAACP leaders.

A New Jersey police officer tests out a body camera in 2014. (Photo by Melissa DiPento)

Police-worn body cameras may soon be coming to Delaware.
Gov. Jack Markell convened law enforcement officials and state NAACP leaders to discuss public safety in Delaware. The group addressed the potential future use of body cameras, with both parties agreeing that cameras should be implemented statewide, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
There’s been a rush nationally for police forces to add body cameras and there’s evidence that it does reduce violence, but in a letter from the White House responding to a national petition, a representative said citizens can’t ignore the cost. Mostly that’s happened at the local level (Baltimore city is looking at taser cameras, for example), but here Delaware would be making a statewide push.
“Cameras are inevitable and a positive step, but … some key questions must be resolved before they are deployed to ensure their success,” the release states.
Department of Safety and Homeland Security Secretary Lew Schiliro, State Police Colonel Nate McQueen, State NAACP President Richard “Mouse” SmithJane Hovington, President of the Lower Sussex Branch of the NAACP, and Fay Blake, Economic Development Chair of the Lower Sussex Branch, were in attendance.
“I thank the leaders of the State NAACP for all of their efforts to advance civil rights in our state,” said Markell. “We had an important discussion laying out the issues that need to be resolved to responsibly introduce body cameras in our state. Just as importantly, we talked about the need to continue to have an open dialogue about the issues facing our African-American community and to help build trust between their community and our law enforcement.”

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