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Fairfax Police Chief: Video Cameras Make Review Board Unnecessary

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Fairfax County Police are targeting aggressive drivers on the Fairfax County Parkway this week.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/perspective/819261451
Fairfax County Police are targeting aggressive drivers on the Fairfax County Parkway this week.

Police Chief David Rohrer and County Executive Anthony Griffin say one of the reason citizens don't need to be involved in oversight is the anticipated installation of cameras in police cruisers.

"The very fact that the citizens know that the encounters are being videotaped is a way to reassure the public that they have some measure of protection or proof of what happened," says police spokesperson Mary Ann Jennings.

But Fairfax County has a history of withholding basic information from the public, including video footage of an officer firing a fatal shot at an unarmed driver.

"Cameras in police cruisers are good ideas if there's a protocol that requires that they be on all the time and they are available to the public. But even then, it is not a substitute for a citizen review board," says Kent Willis of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia.

The cameras would cost $3.7 million, and police won't say when -- or if -- the footage will ever be public.

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