Durham County

Durham police plan public forums on body cameras

The Durham Police Department will hold a series of public forums to get feedback on the idea of having its officers wear body cameras.

The department is field-testing body cameras that could eventually become standard issue for all patrol officers. Police Chief Jose L. Lopez says the department wants to hear from the public before making any decisions.

“The feedback we get from the listening sessions will weigh heavily on any decision that is made in reference to body cameras,” Lopez said in a statement. “We want to hear directly from residents and encourage them to voice their ideas, priorities and even concerns about the cameras.”

Several other law enforcement agencies in the Triangle, including the Chapel Hill and Garner police departments and the Wake County Sheriff’s Office, are testing and evaluating body cameras for officers. Police in Knightdale and Hillsborough already use them.

Durham officials say that it’s early in their evaluation of the cameras and that they may not be able to answer questions about policies, protocols or training. The point of the forums, they say, is to hear concerns that would help guide the department’s use of the cameras.

The forums begin May 11. Here’s a full schedule:

▪ Monday, May 11, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Durham Public Schools Staff Development Center, 2107 Hillandale Road

▪ Tuesday, May 12, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Antioch Baptist Church, 1415 Holloway St.

▪ Thursday, May 14, 5:30 to 7 p.m., City Committee Room (second floor), 101 City Hall Plaza

▪ Tuesday, May 19, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Russell Memorial CME Church, 703 S. Alston Ave.

▪ Wednesday, May 20, 10 to 11:30 p.m., Durham Housing Authority (Crime Task Force), 330 E. Main St.

▪ Thursday, May 28, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Southwest Regional Library, 3605 Shannon Road