D.C. Police Adopt Body Cameras; Chief Expects Complaints To Drop 80%


To help increase public trust between police officers and residents Washington, D.C., 165 officers will begin wearing on-body cameras next week as they work, the Washington Post reports. Police Chief Cathy Lanier hopes to expand the pilot program to each of her department's thousands of patrol officers in the coming years. Some will mount to a D.C. police officer's collar or to the front of the officer's shirt. Another model will be mounted to an eyeglass frame.

Yesterday, Lanier and Mayor Vincent Gray released details of the six-month, $1 million program. Starting Oct. 1, dozens of officers will test five camera models in each of the city's seven police districts as well as in the school security and special operations divisions. Lanier expects the cameras to cut down drastically on the number of complaints filed against police officers by as much as 80 percent, as well as the time needed to investigate those complaints. Many complaints now include multiple witness accounts that must be collected and reconciled by department personnel. Officers will be required to turn on the camera as soon as they receive a call for service or other request for assistance and will leave the camera rolling until they finish the call. Video that is not retained for a criminal or administrative investigation will be deleted after 90 days.

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