Police departments in Albuquerque and New Orleans have fully equipped officers with cameras that mount on uniforms and can be turned on with the tap of a button. Baltimore, Chicago, New York and dozens of other U.S. cities are in the process of getting cameras on all cops.
In San Diego, most officers have body cams. To prove to a doubting public that the cameras are functional, San Diego Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman started a web series called Donut Do’s and Don’ts. On-duty patrol officers enter stores, like Dunkin’ Donuts, with cameras running. The cops eat crullers and bear claws and voice their expert opinions.
“The views for this show are astronomical, and we think it’s turning into a successful public relations venture,” said Chief Zimmerman. “And for those skeptics, it proves we know how to operate this costly equipment.”
San Diego resident Madge Geezenhite is a fan of Donut Do’s and Don’ts. “I especially love the reviews from Officer Brutus,” she said, referring to motorcycle patrolman Clive Brutus.
Officer Brutus was involved in three shootings this year. He was absolved of guilt for shooting a drug dealer, a Labrador retriever and an infant who was wildly waving a loaded binky at night on the Pacific Beach boardwalk.
“Officer Brutus is the one who turned me on to the red velvets and the apple fritters at the downtown Donut Bar,” noted a smiling Geezenhite.