CPD Chief Swanger: “I Have Staff Researching Body Cameras….”

September 26, 2016 8:00 am · 38 comments


Concord Police Officers can expect to one day be wearing body cameras, it just hasn’t been determined when that day will be, according to Concord Police Chief Guy Swanger.

“I have staff researching body cameras and we have a committee looking at all parts of this program, I believe it is inevitable that public employees, particularly police, will be using devices that record contacts.” Swanger said.

Swanger says capturing the public on recording, sometimes in their most private and revealing moments (crime victims, car crashes, etc), has to be handled delicately, and many questions still exist about when it’s okay to release the video to the public.

It has also not been determined by the legislature or courts whether the video is considered ‘public’, according to Chief Swanger.

The cost of the cameras hasn’t been determined at this time, but Swanger said the first purchase would obviously have to be large. There will also be costs that include replacement, storage, service, and resources necessary to retrieve video.

Swanger says he plans to get feedback on the issue from Officers, other employees and the public in the near future.

Mountainside Jay September 26, 2016 at 8:04 AM

“We just need to find the ones most prone to breakage, skipping, losing footage or most easily accidentally switched off.”

the who September 26, 2016 at 8:04 AM

They are widely used now and shouldn’t be that hard to figure out. probably just olding off as long as they can. bet a year from now they are still researching it.

Justin September 26, 2016 at 8:17 AM

Well said #1.

Just buy them already. They help EVERYONE involved that’s doing the right thing.

Tiig September 26, 2016 at 8:19 AM

When the police are not given the benefit of the doubt in court, maybe the will buy cameras.

Anonymous September 26, 2016 at 9:06 AM

I’m for cameras. But people need to know the storage of the data and the lost time from patrol in downloading is more expensive then you might think..

Long ago in the cop business I was approached by many people who did not want to be recorded because they were reporting a crime and didn’t want to be outed. We need to remember there are times when recording is counter productive.

It’s going to cost real dollars , but it’s worth it. I just wish our city council members had body cameras running all the time.

Why September 26, 2016 at 9:21 AM

Good idea

Captain Bebops September 26, 2016 at 9:24 AM

It shouldn’t be that hard but I think some of the companies making them are taking the same chipsets that are in cheap cameras and putting them in a sturdier case and charge a lot more for them.

Rob September 26, 2016 at 9:34 AM

Good thing Concord isn’t in someplace near the mecca of high tech or this would be an embarrassing thing for a Police Chief to admit that they are now researching technology…

Of course that statement sounds so many others – cops simply do not want their actions to be available to the public – we should belief and trust everything they tell us…

Unfortunately, police have dug themselves into a bit of a hole…..

I, like many I know, used to belief what Police said and their Statements after shootings, etc… and we gave Police pretty much the full benefit of doubt after we heard other communities raising issues about police actions… We said, no they must be lying police wouldn’t do such a thing…

The problem for Police is that after video become easily recorded by so many people – too many Police Departments and Police in general have continued the old playbook and then the video comes out showing that the Police are simply lying and that “Good” Cops are simply lying to help the Bad Cops…

IMHO – not only do we need Cams on every cop – we need transparency – after all its the public money that pays the salaries, benefits, equipment and yes everything related to the video…

Yes, if they are interviewing a rape victim, etc.. that video does not need to be public – but if there is a shooting – oh yes, that needs to be public – period.

anon September 26, 2016 at 9:46 AM

Why is this being limited to police? As the price of the technology and storage fall, why not put this on ALL employees to make sure are doing the “right thing”, as #3 put it?

BITE_ME September 26, 2016 at 9:49 AM

People that have been using body cameras for years:
All extreme sports fanatics.
DIY Youtubers.
Famous people who make sex tapes.
Movie production companies.
People with pets.

foonman September 26, 2016 at 10:12 AM

Its time, and eventually all police departments will have them. All for it. It will hopefully clear up some questionable situations…..

Concord Jack September 26, 2016 at 10:14 AM

The CPD and its union are the source of Concord’s blight. Maybe the citizens of Concord will take their city back someday.

Baz September 26, 2016 at 10:23 AM

Umm can you say GoPro… They are hard to brake have Great video and audio quality everything can be stored on the camera or hard drive whichever you choose…

Anon. September 26, 2016 at 10:32 AM

How many more years are they going to keep studying this topic? It has been over two years. They should have plenty of research by now.

Reality September 26, 2016 at 10:40 AM

Body cameras will remain almost entirely irrelevant until the cops aren’t also the ones who control/posses the footage so it can be lost or edited.
That, and the on/off switch. Until a body camera doesn’t allow the cop to conveniently turn his camera off, and the aforementioned piece, body cameras are a waste of money

The Realist September 26, 2016 at 10:47 AM

“After considerable research, we have decided not to record our officers in the interest of justice.”
Just a mocking guess of such an overused phrase.
Let us remember a few of the faux pas of the Concord PD officers in recent years:
A questionable murder while serving a warrant,
An officer stealing prescription meds from seniors,
A ridiculous ticket scandal,
and those are just a couple that we know of publically.
It’s not the 1950s, camera tech is simple and easy, maybe not cheap but oh well. The do-nothing Conquered city council should be all on board for body cameras but I suspect they are too busy catering to their special interest buddies to care what happens with the police/public interaction.

Turn and burn September 26, 2016 at 10:54 AM

@ Rob #8 If you want them to have video camera’s taping everything and everyone, you CAN’T pick and choose who you video tape.

WC resident September 26, 2016 at 11:13 AM

I wish this stuff would start getting thought about at the state or federal level. Right now many thousands of cities have their staff researching the issue. This results in a great deal of duplication of effort (that we all pay for via tax dollars) and also results in inconsistent rules from city to city.

I’m personally in favor of the cameras. I have not seen a single example of loss of privacy while there have been many examples of people (both cops and the people the cops are in contact with) doing things that later reflect badly on those people.

Bob September 26, 2016 at 11:17 AM

Have Google buy them, live stream all content to the internet, let google manage the system. Take the wind out of the medias sails….. Done….

Bob September 26, 2016 at 11:25 AM

Bob said sarcastically…….. It will come to that eventually.

Rob September 26, 2016 at 11:41 AM

#17 Turn and burn September 26, 2016 at 10:54 AM
@ Rob #8 If you want them to have video camera’s taping everything and everyone, you CAN’T pick and choose who you video tape.


I never said pick and choose what is taped…

You can pick and choose what is made public.

bosome September 26, 2016 at 12:24 PM

Cops don’t need no cameras! Just say no to cameras on cops.

Robbery watcher September 26, 2016 at 12:38 PM

We need license plate readers more than we need body cameras.

rofl September 26, 2016 at 12:50 PM

The cops should not remain in control of any recorded video. I never did get the idea of cops policing cops. There is just no incentive for them to do a good job at it. But now there are tools to let the public to do the job like we should have been doing all along. I like 3rd party control of the video with CLEAR laid out laws for it’s use. It just makes it better for all. Better in the court room because you can SEE it. And better in the media for the police for the same reason. And the public can start to trust the cops again like we should be able too. A government “For the people by the people”, the people need to know what going on in the government.

@22 September 26, 2016 at 12:58 PM

Next you’ll say cops don’t need guns.

MeToo! September 26, 2016 at 1:07 PM

Stupid idea for concord. Just hire more officers they are understaffed . Were not Chicago.

WestCoastAvenger September 26, 2016 at 1:14 PM

I bet Swanger will change his tune after some controversial event. Body cams are good for the police and good for ordinary citizens. His hemhaw attitude is wrong, objectively.

THE BLACK KNIGHT September 26, 2016 at 1:58 PM

It is only Councilman Edi Birsan that wants to dedicate some budget dollars to Police Body Cameras, the rest of the Concord City Council doesn’t, while Councilman Tim Grayson has been saying we can get grant money to buy them for the last 2-3 years,

ManBearPig September 26, 2016 at 4:12 PM

Where body cams go, complaints against officers go down.

Atticus Thraxx September 26, 2016 at 5:05 PM

Are we gonna spend a bunch of money now to address a problem we don’t really have? How about fixing the ‘effing roads? Stop pouring money into the insatiable maw of law enforcement and lets work on some infrastructure for a damn change.

THE BLACK KNIGHT September 26, 2016 at 5:18 PM

ManBearPig #29,

Use of force by officers also goes down when body cameras are worn.

Thatguy September 26, 2016 at 5:18 PM

In action by the City Council on this issue will only result in critics screaming for civillian oversight by a body pro crime anti cop critics. They better understand that that the biggest responsiblity they have in this city is PUBLIC SAFETY, and yes this does inlcude money for body cameras. The sooner the better, because it is coming to CPD like it or not!

anon September 26, 2016 at 6:12 PM

I know Bart Police had cameras at least 5 years ago. There’s no reason for research, just call Bart and ask them all about their cameras.

Julio September 26, 2016 at 6:56 PM

This Chief is totally against cameras it is very clear. Give it up Chief. You will lose and it will cost Concord a lot of money.

Anon September 26, 2016 at 7:51 PM

It is time to support the police or soon we won’t have any. I don’t see why anyone would want to be a police officer today given the way they are being treated and targeted.

rofl September 26, 2016 at 11:58 PM

@35 ummmm……NO!, they should earn it.

Fedup September 28, 2016 at 11:40 AM

Why does everyone assume the cops are bad. Look at Wells Fargo ripping off 2 million people with false bank accounts put in their customers name. Look at clergy molesting kids. Look at Hillary Clinton breaking every security law there is and getting away with it, why would five of her staff need immunity if she did nothing wrong?
The real need is to have our politicians where body cams and teachers. I can not believe the liberal BS my kid is being taught in public school. If you only knew the brain washing that starts with these liberal socialist teachers it would make you puke. They are influencing are children to be socialist and making our boys a bunch of wimps! Trophies for every one and self identify as what ever sexual orientation you feel that day.

Fedup September 28, 2016 at 7:20 PM

I think the officers at CPD would welcome them. Then everyone can see the crap the citizens give them everyday and they have to put up with it. I have never seen so much disrespect for police in my life. If the public knew “they” were being recorded then maybe “they” would act better. This also opens up a new window to the public of showing everything to Big Brother when they call the police that can be discovered later and used against them. Be careful what you wish for.

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