Group Plans to Monitor Police Stops

Group Plans to Monitor Police Stops

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OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- A watchdog group armed with video cameras plans to monitor police stops in the Ogden area.

The five Ogden Copwatch volunteers will roam the streets and pull over when they see a traffic stop in progress.

They want to make sure all dealings are handled in a professional manner.

"We're following our right to observe, and hopefully we can see positive community empowerment in Ogden," said Robert Duran, a former Ogden resident who is a University of Colorado criminology students and volunteer with Denver Copwatch.

Duran, who brought the program to Ogden, said volunteers do not get involved in the actual stop and keep a reasonable distance.

Duran said multiple stories of police discrimination and misconduct have come out of Ogden.

"There's a need for it," he said, claiming the Ogden-Weber Metro Gang Unit needs to focus on better conduct.

Ogden Police Chief Jon Greiner said, "It won't change how we do business. Our guys know that a lot of people tape what we do and cameras are everywhere."

Weber County sheriff's Capt. Klint Anderson, said, "I'm suspicious that they're here with a specific agenda, but just what is yet to be clear."

Anderson said his officers are being told Copwatch is going to be out there, but, "We have nothing to hide. It's not like we have some underlying Gestapo thing."

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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