The Sacramento Police Officers Association is sounding off about the city's policy of releasing videos of officer-involved altercations.
"Our officers are under tremendous pressure," said association president Tim Davis. "Our officers in Sacramento are the lowest paid in the region. They have the highest standards. They have the most oversight. They are the only department in the region subjected to video release. All of these factors are making this a negative environment to work in. Officers are leaving."
A recent video release got national attention and left a Sacramento police officer on paid leave after striking a man in Del Paso Heights who was accused of jaywalking. Neighborhood leader Derrell Roberts says the community has real concerns.
"Is there another way for us to police the community without it always being a confrontation?" questioned Roberts who feels releasing videos of officer involved incidents promotes transparency. "It's not always a clear cut situation on either side, but if the police officers want support from the community they are also going to have to accept there is going to be scrutiny as well."
In just the last year, Sacramento city leaders required police officers to start releasing videos of officer involved-shootings and other incidents involving community complaints within 30 days.
"And that was a shock for officers," Davis said. "It's a new way of doing things. Transparency is a good thing. Our community should be able to trust our police department, but what we have now is a system that only releases the most traumatic events that happen."
Davis says he would like to see the department release more videos.
"If we are going to release the most tragic events...then our officers need to be seen when they are in their most heroic moments," Davis said.
Davis says he actually met with Mayor Darrell Steignberg in the last few weeks who agrees. They are discussing ways to make sure they can release more videos and not create more work for a department who could always use more staff.
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