Houston Suspends Police Body Camera Program

We're now learning why there's no body cam footage of the two Houston police officers who were shot and wounded this week.  The city is suspending the rollout of its body cameras due to problems with the batteries. 

“All of sudden something happens and then you don't have the footage and the excuse is 'well, the battery died,'” says Mayor Sylvester Turner.  “The kind of hurts the credibility of the system.”

Chief Art Acevedo says it becomes a bigger problem when officers work off-duty security.

“Keep in mind, many of them don't just work patrol and then go home,” the chief said Wednesday.  “Many of them have second jobs where we want them to have those cameras in the interests of transparency.”

The camera vendor, Texas-based WatchGuard Video, denies the company has had any battery problems.

“Its going to be a problem for a short time because they're going to have start turning their body cameras in so the next one can get them,” says Ray Hunt, president of the Houston Police Officers' Union.  “We eventually want everybody to have a body camera so we're not having to be back-and-forth, with me giving them on to somebody else.”

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