By: Jenasa Staples, Staff Writer
This year Portland police department invested in buying the camera equipment needed for their 120 patrol officers and the cameras are now being utilized.
It is a debate and discussion by school board members on whether Portland school resource officers should carry cameras or not. Portland police department has the right to use their camera’s anytime they are interacting with society. School resource officers would have guidelines designed by the school that they would need to follow for when they were allowed to use the cameras. According to a recent Portland Press Herald article based off a school board meeting, the camera’s would only be viewed at the superintendents request for investigating students, employees, or other matters. The cameras would not be viewed by school personnel. One of the concerns mentioned was the affects students will have seeing a camera on a school resource officer. Michael Kebede, policy council at the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, wonders if students will lose trust in confiding to school resource officers.
USM public safety officers do not use cameras. According to Sergeant Bill Soper, it has been discussed at meetings and he believes they have not gone through with purchasing cameras yet due to the price of them. Soper says, “I’m old school but I am changing with the ways. I worked for Portland police department for 22 years and never used a camera. I’m not against them but I am not sure I am for them because I have never used one.”