The City of Wichita has caved to the Fraternal Order of Police (the police officers’ union), settling on an agreement that allows officers to refuse to wear body cameras without repercussion.
The Fraternal Order of Police Wichita Lodge 5 issued a grievance on behalf of 13 officers who did not want to use the gear. Now, the FOP is saying that the officers who filed the grievance can return to active duty, and they will be paid a $28,000 settlement to cover lost wages, because they refused to work wearing the body cameras. I seriously doubt we will ever be told which 13 officers refused to wear the cameras.
The Wichita Police Department has roughly 40 Axon body cameras and local activists from various organizations, including Kansas Exposed, have been calling for all the officers to be equipped with the body cameras to prevent police misconduct and aid in the prosecution of criminal cases. The City says it cannot afford to equip the officers.
Now, it would appear that even if we succeed in getting the funding for these cameras, the officers can simply refuse to wear them. How many times have you heard an officer who wants to search you say, “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about”?
Well, WPD, if you have nothing to hide, why are you so worried about wearing body cameras?
Be sure to get on Facebook and like WPD: The Documentary, an upcoming full-length film that will expose the corruption in the Wichita Police Department.