Baltimore Police moving toward videotaped interrogations

The Baltimore Police Department is taking steps to begin videotaping interrogations in its most serious criminal investigations — a long-resisted move that is being adopted by an increasing number of Maryland law-enforcement agencies.

The department, the eighth-largest in the country, recently began using video as part of a series of reforms of its sex-offense unit. Now officials are exploring equipment options and the policy impact of videotaping homicide and shooting interrogations. Detectives are being trained on subtleties such as where to stand and how their demeanor will play to a jury.

"I'm committed to doing this, and I have a bunch of really smart guys working on getting this done," said police CommissionerFrederick H. Bealefeld III, who has studied videotaping since he was chief of detectives. "But it's not as simple as going to Radio Shack and bolting a camera into the wall."

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