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Ramsey Says Lack of Money Is Keeping Phila. Police From Recording Its Interrogations

(Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey testifies at a hearing on the police department's budget.  Image from City of Phila. TV)

(Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey testifies at a hearing on the police department’s budget. Image from City of Phila. TV)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  The Philadelphia Police Department is behind other major cities in the use of  videotape to record police interrogations, but police commissioner Charles Ramsey told City Council today that it will take money to catch up.

Filming interrogations takes more than sticking a camera on a tripod, Ramsey told councilman Bill Greenlee during budget hearings.

“There is an expense associated with it for wiring, rehabilitating some of our facilities so they can handle the equipment, training, and the like,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey says he’s all for the practice.  He instituted in Washington, DC, when he headed the police department there.  And he thinks it would have widespread support here.

“This actually enhances the prosecution, not take away from it,” he said.

Ramsey says his office is trying to calculate how much it would cost.  He doesn’t have an exact figure yet but, he says, it’s expensive.

“I would not want to have it taken from other parts of our own budget.  I mean, our budget’s pretty tight as it is,” he said.

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