Police interrogations to be recorded citywide

Posted: June 03, 2014

GET READY for your close-ups, everybody.

The Philadelphia Police Department is slated to receive an $84,780 grant tomorrow from the nonprofit Philadelphia Police Foundation that will cover the cost of installing recording equipment in interrogation rooms in detective divisions across the city.

The grant is expected to be presented to Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey by Maureen Rush, president of the nonprofit's board and superintendent of the University of Pennsylvania's police force.

Ramsey told the Daily News in December about his plan to begin recording interrogations in the Homicide Unit, after collaborating on new interview and interrogation policies with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Pennsylvania Innocence Project.

Hundreds of police departments rely on recording interrogations, and at least 17 states require the practice by law.

Ramsey noted that he implemented the practice while serving as police chief in Washington, D.C., more than a decade ago.

The cameras in the Homicide Unit went live in March.

Ramsey had said in December that he hoped to see the practice implemented also in the South, Southwest, Northwest, Northeast, East and Central detective divisions. The grant will make that goal a reality.

"I think, at this point, folks are receptive towards it," said police spokesman Lt. John Stanford.

"This will assist us in . . . having all detective divisions operational regarding the recording of the interviews."

The grant consists of donations from Macy's, Tyco Integrated Security and other businesses, according to the foundation.

"It's our time to embrace the future of policing," Stanford said.


On Twitter: @dgambacorta

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