PHILLIPS - Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett wants all city police officers to wear body cameras by the end of next year. He made that proposal this week after tension between police and the public in places like Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Ferguson, Missouri.
One Northwoods police department has been using the cameras for years. Phillips police officers have worn body cameras since 2008. They turn them on while responding to many situations in the city.
"Let's say a serious call, like domestic, a burglary, a theft, something that's not like a vehicle lockout, they just turn the camera on," Phillips Police Chief Michael Hauschild said.
The police department says video recordings are most helpful when officers go to write reports. They can re-live the actual events that happened, instead of relying only on memory.
Recordings are also useful when citizens bring complaints against police officers. In fact, a person recently complained about his treatment by a Phillips police officer.
"In fact, when I reviewed the video, that was totally the opposite, so I invited the citizen in here, and we sat down and we watched the video. It spoke for itself. There was no complaint after that," Hauschild said.
Roughly half of the police departments in the Northwoods have their officers wear body cameras. Thousands of people signed an online petition asking Milwaukee police officers to get the cameras.