Salem Police Chief Sean Reynolds feels the bad far outweighs the good in the 700 page police reform legislation currently on the Governor’s desk.
Reynolds was asked for an update on the bill by the city council Monday night.
“We were very happy as a group to see that the qualified immunity was left out. That was huge. I think you would have seen a max exodus of police officers across the state that were either new or close to retirement had that went through. But there are still other parts of it that are very troubling.”
Reynolds says one of the major issues is no funding to implement the changes.
“Even with good things like body cameras, there is currently no money available and as we know it’s not necessarily the purchase of the camera that costs so much, it’s the storage of the data along with the FOIA requests and that’s quite a burden to the city of Salem. Hopefully by the time it’s mandatory there will be money available, grants, there will be some adjustments made to the affordability of this and we do have a few years to think about it.”
Reynolds is worried about the impact of eliminating cash bond. He understands the philosophy that some have money to post bond while others don’t, but he’s concerned about those released without bond committing additional crimes while out.
Reynolds thanked the city council for their support in the past and for allowing the recent purchase of cameras for all of the squad cars. The council earlier approved the purchase of gun cams that activate anytime a weapon is pulled.
Mayor Pro-Tem Nic Farley is awaiting word from State Senator Jason Plummer on what the city’s next step should be on reacting to the legislation.
Brock Waggoner, in the citizen comment portion of the meeting, had asked the city council to go on record asking the Governor not to sign the legislation.