It’s anyone’s guess why cop cruisers in Cleveland, the largest city fleet in the state, still don’t have dash cams to protect officers — and their suspects — from false accusations.
Councilman Zack Reed says he’s been trying to get them installed from the time he was chairman of Council’s Public Safety Committee six years ago. Though he’s no longer in that post due to DUI troubles, the matter still seems to frustrate the current chairman, Councilman Kevin Conwell. Public Safety Director Martin Flask danced around the subject at Council’s last Public Safety meeting, saying that priority might be leaning toward the installation of more security cams. But with dash cams costing about $200 per cruiser, Reed doesn’t get it.
“Marty Flask and Chief [Mike] McGrath don’t want those cams and the question is, ‘Why?’” wonders Reed. “Steve Loomis [head of the police union] doesn’t have a problem with it. Officers don’t seem to have a problem, but when it comes down to somebody saying we’re going to use these dollars to put cams in the cars, for some reason, it doesn’t get done.”
It could be a useful tool — or a coffer-clearing one. Depends.