BUFFALO, NY - A petition has been started on Change.org, calling on Buffalo Police to install dash cams on police cars, as a way to boost transparency. And it's calling on the Common Council and Mayor Byron Brown to make it a requirement for police to do so.
Dash cams would give Buffalo Police video of what happens behind the wheel.
"Anything that's going to show truthfully what happens on a call I think in most cases is going to exonerate the officers," said Buffalo Police union president, John Evans.
REPORTER: What is the department's response strictly to the proposal of hey Buffalo police get dash cams?
"We feel there's more return on our investment, which is quite considerable with the body cameras, simply with the dash cam, you're simply recording video that's directly in front of the patrol car," Buffalo police captain Jeff Rinaldo said.
REPORTER: It's not 100 percent that the body cam would pick up what is happening on the road?
"Correct, smaller officers, the view of that camera is going to be from behind the steering wheel," Rinaldo said.
REPORTER: Wouldn't it be beneficial to have at least another camera, another eye taking a look at what is going on?
"There's always a benefit as much evidence as we can gather in any criminal investigation is obviously beneficial, but at what cost," Rinaldo said.
He says it would cost at least $2 million for BPD to equip patrol cars with dash cams and even more to store data.
"What I don't think we should do is close out the discussion because there would be more information you know in these situations the more information the better," Common Council President Darius Pridgen said.
That's why the chairman of the city's police oversight committee, David Rivera says dash cams are something they'll look at.
"We'll have research done by our council staff and by our staff but in the meantime, we will file a resolution to begin the conversation with the Buffalo Police Department," Rivera said.
In the meantime, Buffalo Police are using body cameras in the city's B district. The department is testing out the cameras with two different companies and police say during the summer, a decision will be made whether to continue or expand the program.