Washington deputies in King County to put on physique cameras, get pay raises


King County and the union representing sheriff’s deputies have reached an settlement that will enable for deputies to hold physique and dashboard cameras, however the county’s police oversight company says it offers deputies an excessive amount of discretion over when to make use of them.

The brand new collective bargaining settlement between Washington state’s most populous county and the King County Police Officer’s Guild accommodates important pay raises for the greater than 630 deputies and sergeants represented by the union, The Seattle Occasions reported.

It contains pay raises totaling 20% by 2024, together with retroactive will increase. Salaries for sheriff’s deputies begin at about $73,000.

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Below the settlement, deputies might start carrying physique cameras as quickly as subsequent yr. County officers have pushed for physique cameras for over a decade however progress stalled amid union pushback, even because the Seattle Police Department and different legislation enforcement companies started utilizing them.

The settlement additionally “acknowledges the authority” of the county Workplace of Legislation Enforcement Oversight to conduct impartial investigations of officers and difficulty subpoenas. King County residents voted in 2020 to present the oversight workplace that authority, however it was topic to collective bargaining.

King County sheriff’s deputies will begin wearing body cameras starting 2023, according to a new agreement between the union and county.

King County sheriff’s deputies will start carrying physique cameras beginning 2023, in line with a brand new settlement between the union and county.

King County Govt Dow Constantine included $5 million to launch the physique digital camera program in his funds request earlier this yr.

The Metropolitan King County Council unanimously accepted the collective bargaining settlement — which couldn’t be modified, solely accepted or rejected — earlier this month, however nonetheless should approve funding for the physique digital camera program, as a part of the funds.

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The oversight workplace wrote to the King County Metropolitan County Council this week saying they don’t consider the coverage meets the requirements set by county communities or finest practices.

The settlement is simply too lenient towards officers, giving them an excessive amount of discretion in when cameras needs to be turned on, and, in use of power incidents, permitting them to assessment video footage earlier than being interviewed, Tamer Abouzeid, the oversight company’s director, mentioned in a press release.

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The settlement usually tells deputies to show their cameras on when interacting with individuals, however has a protracted checklist of exceptions together with when somebody might need an expectation of privateness or has sure objections to being recorded.

On Thursday, a County Council committee accepted the funding to launch this system, with a majority reasoning that it was higher to get the cameras in place and search modifications later.

“I don’t need the proper to be the enemy of the nice and I feel that is good,” mentioned County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove, a longtime advocate of physique cameras.



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