Kalamazoo police

Coban

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - Police in Kalamazoo are testing body cameras that attach to officer uniforms to record video and audio.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports Saturday that Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley says cameras add a layer of transparency and he wants to make them standard equipment.

Hadley says that body cameras "make sense" and protect officers and the community.

Inventorchris / Creative Commons

Kalamazoo Public Safety officers are making dramatically fewer traffic stops. Chief Jeff Hadley says the data reflect a change in the department’s strategies.

Back in September, the Kalamazoo police department released a study that showed, among other things, that African-American drivers were almost twice as likely as Caucasian drivers to get pulled over in the city.

Inventorchris / Creative Commons

African-American drivers are more than twice as likely to get pulled over than Caucasian drivers in the City of Kalamazoo. That’s according to a study the city released this week.

The study only looked at how the department deals with traffic stops. The data covers stops between March 2012 and February 2013.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Paul Ryan in Michigan as presidential race narrows

"For the first time this fall, the Romney-Ryan ticket is spending time in Michigan. Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan rallied voters in Rochester Monday. He told hundreds of supporters at Oakland University that President Obama has failed when it comes to economic and foreign policy, especially by proposing cuts to defense spending. Ryan’s visit comes as Republicans are narrowing the President’s lead in Michigan. After last week’s debate, Mr. Obama’s advantage fell from 10 points to just 3, according to a new poll from the Detroit Free Press," Kate Wells reports.

Political ads in Michigan lopsided

"A new study shows TV ad spending in the presidential and Senate campaigns in Michigan has been lopsided so far. The Michigan Campaign Finance Network says incumbent Senator Debbie Stabenow’s campaign has spent over a million dollars in the last three weeks. Her opponent, former Congressman Pete Hoekstra, has not run any TV ads since the August primary. But the Hoekstra’s campaign announced a big TV ad buy Monday. The study also shows groups supporting presidential hopeful Mitt Romney have spent about $13 million in the state. The Obama campaign and its supporters have not run many ads, but Mr. Obama still holds a lead in most Michigan polls," Jake Neher reports.

Kalamazoo study investigates if police racially profile

"Kalamazoo’s public safety department is conducting a study to see if its officers unfairly target racial and ethnic minorities. The study is not being court ordered, the city isn’t being sued, and there hasn’t been any big incident that sparked the study. Similar studies have been undertaken at police departments in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Washtenaw County. The results will be available in the spring. Federal grants will pay for the bulk of the study’s cost," Lindsey Smith reports.

Inventorchris / Creative Commons

Kalamazoo’s Public Safety Department is conducting a study to see if its officers unfairly target racial and ethnic minorities.

The study is not being court ordered, the city isn’t being sued, and there hasn’t been any big incident that sparked the study. Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley says that’s a good thing.

“These types of issues can bring a lot of emotion… and it makes it a lot more difficult to talk reasonably and to talk productively and constructively in how we move forward,” Hadley said.

Hadley says the department wants to try to avoid problems and they’re hoping the study will help.

“Spending money on this type of study I think is really an investment into our relationship with the community; and how important they are in how we operate as a public safety department and how we keep this city safe,” Hadley said.