With police departments across the country making national headlines, Bossier City Police are keeping an eye on their surroundings in both the physical and digital world.
The Bossier City Council recently voted to fund a body camera study for the police department. The ordinance allocates $100,000 from the sales tax capital improvement fund to conduct the study with Bossier City police officers wearing body cams.
But are there other protocols and steps in place to protect those who serve and protect us?
Mark Natale, Public Information Officer for the City of Bossier City, said no credible threats have been made to the Bossier City Police Department. However, officers and detectives have, in fact, seen posts on social media with threats toward police.
One recent post on a local news stations Facebook page caught their attention.
“We are certainly in a time where we’re seeing a lot of negativity toward law enforcement. Unfortunately with social media, people are choosing to voice their stance in an inappropriate fashion,” Natale said. “This post here is an unfortunate commentary by an individual that the police department is looking into to see if any criminal charge is warranted. That has not been determined as of yet.”
Natale said officer are “very alert” in general and are always on guard, whether they are on or off the clock. Credible threats are taken seriously and online posts are not anonymous, despite what some people may think.
“A lot of people have this false sense of autonomy or think they are safe behind their phone or keyboard,” he said. “It’s unfortunate we’re seeing this type of attitude toward law enforcement, but there will always be people in society who just don’t like police. Even if you make statements or threats and don’t carry them through, but you can still get into trouble. We will take it seriously just to be on the safe side.”
Street patrol officers are currently testing out 11 body worn cameras from Taser. They will also be testing Vievu, Watch Guard, L3, and Wolfcom brand cams.
Those wearing the cameras will complete a full analysis and report, which is to be produced within 30 days from the end of the six month pilot study. The results will help city officials construct a proposed policy for body cameras.