Houston Joining Trend of Police Testing Body Cameras for Evidence


By next summer, the Houston Police Department will be testing whether small body cameras attached to officers will help resolve citizen complaints, says the Houston Chronicle . It will also be used to back up officers’ testimony in criminal cases. “This is where law enforcement is going in the future,” said Police Chief Charles McClelland, noting the camera technology is in use at more than 75 Texas law agencies. “This is something that can make a difference when officers are complained on. You don’t have to spend resources to investigate frivolous complaints. Sometimes when people make complaints and they see themselves on video, they drop the complaints.”

The pilot project is estimated to cost $400,000 including the cameras, data storage, and transfer technology. Since last winter, a test group of nine officers have been using different types of cameras as part of initial field evaluations. In Phoenix, body cameras were used effectively by officers who responded to domestic violence calls. “It provides very compelling evidence in court,” said the police department’s Larry Yium.

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