State law says that footage from ticket cameras can not be used “for any purpose other than enforcement of violations.” But the Lynnwood police think they are above the law.

Emails obtained by The Herald describe multiple incidents in the past year in which officers asked for ATS video for use in investigations.

For example, in December, an officer working a hit-and-run asked ATS for the vehicle information and any available photos or video. ATS sent him video via FedEx.

We asked Lynnwood officials about the practice last week. It wasn’t clear whether all the city’s top cops knew that was taking place.

Police Cmdr. Chuck Steichen was at the meeting. The straight-talking cop was open about his asking ATS about a half-dozen times for videos, mostly for use in bank robbery investigations.

Steichen’s read of state law is that it is OK for officers to use images snagged off ATS video feed for other types of investigations, so long as what is captured doesn’t document red-light running or speeding in school zones.

http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20110821/BLOG48/708219947

This is a very dangerous precedent to set. Lynnwood needs to be held accountable.