Steve Strachan is the chief of police in Bremerton, a city of about 39,000 located directly west of Seattle on the Kitsap Peninsula.
A former King County sheriff with nearly 30 years of law enforcement experience, Strachan currently has around 60 officers in his department.
According to chief operating officer Wagers, the department is not banking on any changes in state law.
"We just assume that it's not going to change, and we have to figure out ways to deal with it as the world exists now," he said.
Along with the work they create, the requests also raise privacy concerns.
"Do you want video of the inside of people's homes that have been burglarized to be available to the public? "Or an interview with a domestic violence assault victim?
While this approach might eliminate some of the problems related to large public disclosure requests, it would require changes to state law, and it would likely encounter pushback from some law enforcement agencies and police unions.
Doug Klunder, an ACLU attorney specializing in privacy, explained that in the organization's view, only videos related to incidents involving use of force, complaints against officers, or possible misconduct should be stored by police departments.Since then, the department has undergone an investigation by the U. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, which found that the department engaged in a pattern or practice of excessive force, including deadly force.In a letter to Albuquerque's mayor earlier this year, outlining the findings of the investigation, the Justice Department specifically noted the body cameras and said that it did not appear that officers were properly using the devices and that the camera program "appeared directed only at placating public criticism." As part of a pilot program now scheduled to begin this December, the Seattle Police Department plans to equip about one dozen patrol and bicycle officers with the cameras in the East Precinct, which includes Capitol Hill and the Central District.About two months ago, several of those officers tested different models of the officer-worn body cameras that are becoming increasingly popular in police departments around the nation. "The officers that had them said that the interactions they had markedly improved," Strachan said. The officers said, ' We like these.'" But even though his officers embraced the new technology, and the department has the money set aside in its 2015 budget to roll out a permanent body camera program, Strachan is planning to hold off for now.The reason: At least two other Washington state police departments that use the cameras have received public disclosure requests for all video footage recorded by the devices.The requests threaten to create a crippling workload for agencies with limited staff and technology.