Worthington City Council expected to revisit body-worn cameras May 17

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
The Worthington Municipal Building at 6550 High St.

Worthington City Council plans to reintroduce the matter of outfitting Worthington Division of Police officers with body-worn cameras after the issue has been tabled for more than nine months. 

Prior to a presentation from city police Chief Robert Ware at council’s May 10 meeting regarding policy development and implementation of a proposed body-camera program, City Manager Matt Greeson indicated that the discussion of body cameras would be removed from the table May 17.

“We’re scheduling this additional conversation for this evening, and then our goal is to bring forward … the tabled ordinance for removal from the table next week and amendment to reflect the modifications to the program,” Greeson said during the meeting. 

Greeson also said the program’s modifications mostly pertain to “expansion of the numbers of cameras purchased so that all officers can be outfitted appropriately.”

Council tabled the issue July 20, 2020, to obtain more information regarding program policy, use of the cameras and other considerations, and to gather more community dialogue and feedback. That decision was preceded by legislation introduced by council July 6 that would appropriate $55,000 for a body-camera program. 

Ware said at that time that the cameras could be worn by 22 officers on patrol. He has previously said he and his staff are in favor of using body cameras.

Law-enforcement body cameras, which have received increased attention in recent years following national discussions surrounding law enforcement, race and police brutality, are in use by at least 33 law-enforcement agencies throughout Franklin, Delaware, Fairfield, Licking, Madison, Pickaway and Union counties as of March 2021. 

At least 11 central Ohio law-enforcement agencies have indicated they are researching body-camera programs and anticipate adopting one. 

For more information, go to worthington.org

This is a developing story. Check ThisWeekNEWS.com/Worthington for updates.  

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve