DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Dayton Police hope to learn next week if they will receive city approval to use the FUSUS camera system.
The department has been meeting with community members to explain how the technology works and why it’s important, but some people are pushing back.
The American Civil Liberties Union is questioning what exactly an ‘incident’ will be defined as and why police want to use this technology in the first place, worrying that police could potentially watch too closely in particular neighborhoods.
“It starts with kind of the basic question. Why do you want this network and upon what independent sources makes you think that this will actually advance the call you’re doing it? I noticed that in some of their reports that they have released, that they have advanced on this hearing, they quote positive outcomes using these, but they’re basically being taken from the website of the company that selling them. Chances are, those ‘incidents’ are going to be occurring in your black and brown communities and poor neighborhoods in Dayton,” Chad Marlow, ACLU Senior Policy Council, said.
There are already guidelines in place to make sure that doesn’t happen. In fact, those safeguards have delayed possible implementation of FUSUS giving the public a chance to weigh in.
Dayton Police Major Jimmy Mullins insists the technology will not be used to spy on people, rather to help support the community in response to more serious crimes.
“In most cases is going to be violent crime incidents, robberies, felonious assault, homicides if that is one. but also missing juveniles, missing adults will activate the system too – it’ll all be able to be selected by the person that has the camera. It’s not surveillance, we don’t have time to look at it as surveillance and we don’t have the capability, it doesn’t give us the capability,” Major Jimmy Mullins said.
On Thursday, DPD hosted their final information meeting about FUSUS to the public.
There will be an open forum on February 15 when they attempt to get approval from city commissioners.