The Cedaredge police department started testing body cameras on officers last week.
KVNF’s Laura Palmisano spoke with Cedaredge Police Chief Daniel Sanders about the program.
PALMISANO: “The Cedaredge Police Department is testing on-body cameras. Can you tell me about that program?”
SANDERS: “We’ve been recognizing with technology emerging and changing that the need for cameras on our offices is going to be something that is more than likely to be legislated. We are doing it just to see how it works and document in the field success or none success of the cameras and how it would help our officers better capture the actual events that occur when we are out there dealing with people. We are on a test program right now with a program through TASER International. We are trying out what they call AXON Flex Camera system. That basically puts the camera on the officer and it has several different attachments to where it can be mounted onto the officer’s head to follow basically where their eyes go or it can mount onto a shoulder. It gives you a real life capture of what’s going on out there. It also captures audio.”
PALMISANO: “Where is the video going?”
SANDERS: “The video is kept internal. It’s more of an evidence type capture. It’s not going to be put on the internet or anything like that. It’s keep internal [and stored] on a hard drive here in our evidence fault.
PALMISANO: “How will the technology be used in the field?”
SANDERS: “Basically you push a button on a box that’s attached to their belt and the camera is attached to the sunglasses. It’s not going to record all the time. Our policy is more than likely going to be, and this is just a trail stage at this point, that any radio call for service [and] anything we are actually dispatched to will require the officer to activate the camera.
PALMISANO: “What has the feedback been from your officers?”
SANDERS: “So far it’s been really great. It has allowed them to critique themselves for safety and how they speak to the public. It has also allowed them to review the audio and video when they’re writing their reports to make a more accurate report.
PALMISANO: “How long will the testing of this technology be going on for?
SANDERS: “We’re going to test this system for 30 days. We just started it last week and by August we should probably have another system in to try it out. So it would be 30 days at a time with each system.”