For Rochester City School Board president Van White, body cameras on school resource officers, or SRO’s, is a good idea.
“There’s no doubt it could add value to what’s happening in the community,” White explained
But he says there are questions, like when the cameras would be turned on and off what protocols would be put in place for the officers using them.
“ [Like] who keeps the footage for when something happens in a school? A lot of things. I think we would be very unwise to say, ‘police are going to carry them through the city, so we’re going to bring them into the schools.’
He says the district isn’t rushing to make a decision right now on whether to allow them on school grounds.
Instead, they’re going to take the next six to seven months to study up and ask for input.
“We want to make sure we speak to all of our stakeholders, parents, students, and staff members,” Van White said.
Rochester police told News 8 in a statement:
“Implementation of body cameras in schools will not occur before September of 2017. As part of the planning process, the district will review experiences from other school systems.”
One of those could be the Gates Chili Central School District.
“I believe we started testing them around 2009. 2010-2011, we all got assigned our own body cameras,” Gates Police Officer Robert Long said.
Officer Long is an SRO, who said he’s been carrying the body camera with him at school since then. We asked him when he turns the camera on.
“Anytime we’re going to be making an arrest. Anytime the officer feels something is going to go array,” Officer Long said.
One Rochester parent we spoke supported the move.
“The young people, if they know the camera is around, maybe they’ll keep a little bit better control of themselves; maybe act better,” Moe Gibbs said.