Denver police on Wednesday said they hope to equip 800 officers, including all patrol and traffic officers, with body cameras in 2015, reports the Denver Post. Many U.S. police agencies are experimenting with body cameras, and some smaller departments equip all officers, but their use in Denver apparently would be the most widespread. The cameras, which will record audio and video, not only will protect people who make legitimate complaints, authorities say, but the technology also should protect police from false allegations of excessive force.
The equipment will cost about $1.5 million. The City Council must approve the expense. Denver began testing and evaluating body cameras last year. Taser International and researchers from the University of Cambridge are conducting an independent study to determine their efficacy. Taser gave the department 125 cameras for the study, the first involving a major metropolitan police department. A pilot project in Rialto, Calif., which has about 250 police officers, triggered a double-digit reduction in excessive-force complaints.