Denver Police Department will go ahead with body cameras; union files lawsuit

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DENVER -- Denver police administrators said Wednesday they will be equipping officers with body cameras later this month as planned unless a judge tells them not to do it.

“We’ve already purchased the cameras," Deputy Chief Matt Murray said. "They are being set up now and we’re going to be training officers.”

The city spent more than $6 million on a five-year contract that will put 800 body cameras on officers and sergeants as well as officers working off-duty jobs.

But the Denver Police Protective Association served the city with a lawsuit over what it calls the “illegally adopted body camera policy.”

The union said while it generally supports the use of body cameras, it objects to the city’s failure to seek input from the officers.

“We had officers involved in the policy since Day 1," Murray said. "We have had a committee of officers who actually were in the pilot program with a hundred cameras.”

But the union said the body cameras fall under the collective bargaining agreement and the city cannot implement a body camera policy without officially negotiating the issue with the union.

The city disagrees and said while the union has every right to file the lawsuit, the department is moving forward with body cameras.