The city of Kirkland is seeking input from residents about the potential use of body-worn cameras within the Kirkland Police Department. The city council is interested in implementing a body-worn camera program to increase community and police officer safety.
On August 8, 2020, Kirkland city council adopted Resolution 5434 to improve the safety and respect of Black people and included the goal of developing a police body-worn camera pilot program. In December of 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded the city of Kirkland a grant towards a body-worn camera program if they city chooses to move forward.
“Research has shown that body-worn cameras can lead to reductions in use-of-force incidents and may encourage officers and community members to maintain a higher standard of behavior during an incident,” said Neal Black, Kirkland councilmember. “It’s important that, as a community, we carefully consider all of the potential benefits and drawbacks of a body-worn camera program. Your input is critical and will directly influence how such a program might be shaped to work best for Kirkland.”
A virtual community meeting regarding the use of body-worn cameras is to take place on March 23 at 6:00 p.m., and Kirkland residents can discuss the benefits, costs, and concerns of the program.
Policy considerations will also be a topic of discussion, as well as who within KPD should wear the cameras, when camera recording should take place and when recording should be stopped, and under what circumstances should the sharing of camera footage take place.
Following the community engagement process, a decision on whether Kirkland decides to move forward with the body-worn camera program will be expected in May.
To register for the meeting visit https://www.kirklandwa.gov/Government/City-Managers-Office/Seeking-Input-on-a-Potential-Body-Worn-Camera-Program-in-Kirkland