Pasco Police Captain named to state task force on police body ca - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Pasco Police Captain named to state task force on police body cameras

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PASCO, WA. -- Earlier this year, the Washington State Legislature passed House Bill 2362, creating a legislative task force to help law enforcement implement body cameras. That task force is now getting up and running, and our area has a representative on it from the Pasco Police Department. 

Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen and State House Speaker Frank Chopp have appointed Pasco Police Captain Jeff Harpster to join legislators, media members, the ACLU and others in helping to determine laws and regulations surrounding the use of police body cameras. 

"It's an honor and I'm very proud," Pasco Police Chief Bob Metzger said. "Anytime one of my staff can be involved in any kind of a state wide initiative like that, I think it shows who we are as a police department and who we are as a staff. And I think we got some good staff. Captain Harpster represents really what most of the officers in this department are like."

This comes at a perfect time for the Pasco PD. They're currently testing a chest mounted body camera that uses the same system as the cameras mounted on their patrol cars.

"It's going very well," Chief Metzger said. "I had a meeting with the officers to make sure they kind of understand that their safety and the privacy are the paramount reasons that we're doing it. The privacy concern for me was a big concern and then the safety for the officers were the secondary concern. So it's going very well."

The plan is to eventually equip the entire force with a body camera. Chief Metzger says it's all part of their on-going efforts to connect and interact with the Pasco community. 

"We've been accused quite frankly of not interacting the way we should, I don't necessarily agree with that but I think this will give another level of confidence to the public that we're not shying away from technology if that will help us," Chief Metzger said. "We're not shying away from our ability to work within the community. And I think what's really important is, if they feel better doing it, we're certainly going to look at it."

Pasco Police are still in the process of testing out the body camera. They may also test others before making a final decision. If they do install the body cameras, they'll be the first police department in our area of Washington to do so.