Two Seattle area agencies are reconsidering their use of officer-worn video systems because of records requests from the owner of a YouTube account.
The Poulsbo, Wash., police have been wearing body cameras for about a year, and the department says the results have been good.
It's the same thing for Bremerton police, who finished a six-week pilot project this summer and expect to receive funding to start a regular program in 2015.
But last month a new YouTube user site, set up by someone under the name "Police Video Requests," threw a monkey wrench into the works, according to KOMO TV.
The site's profile says it posts dash and body cam videos received after public records requests to Washington state police departments. Authorities believe the site was set up as a commercial venture.
In September, Police Video Requests asked Poulsbo PD for every second of body cam video it has ever recorded. The department figures it will take three years to fill that request. And Chief Al Townsend believes it is a huge privacy concern, as officers often see people on their worst days.
Now the city of Poulsbo says it may have to suspend or even end its police body cam program. Bremerton PD is, at least temporarily, shelving its plans to start up its own body cam program because of the blanket requests received by Poulsbo and other agencies in the state.
Both departments plan to ask the state legislature during its upcoming session to amend public records laws to specifically prohibit these types of blanket video records requests.