Avon police to begin wearing body cameras
AVON — The Avon Police Department is in the process of implementing the use of body worn cameras. The guidelines for the use of the cameras were approved by the Avon Town Council in May.
Officers recently began training on proper device use, their capabilities, video retention periods and user levels. The cameras will be fully operational in the department by Thursday, with officers using the video recording devices during every shift. All videos will be retained for a minimum of 30 days, subject to further retention depending on the nature of the incident or case. The public is welcome to stop by the police department during business hours for a demonstration of how the cameras work.
Body worn cameras are an emerging technology in law enforcement and are a valuable tool for promoting transparency by recording citizen-police officer interactions and for identifying areas for improvement. In the past, in-car cameras were a popular tool, but this technology limits recording to a small field of view during traffic stops only. The increasing use of body cameras across the country came about because those devices have a better ability to capture police-public interaction beyond the limited field of the in-car cameras. The benefits of the body worn cameras also include: capturing video evidence of suspect statements, recording crime scenes and visual evidence, decreasing liabilities to the town, reducing citizen complaints and increasing police professionalism.
In 2014, the department began wear-testing several body worn camera systems for future use within the department and budgeted for the technology in 2015.
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The police department selected Taser Technology as the vendor for the system after significant wear-testing and analysis of multiple systems. This product has been successful in many major U.S. law enforcement agencies.
In addition to the wear-testing, the department developed a policy based upon the model policy of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, policies from other major law enforcement agencies, and input from the District Attorney, and Avon’s town manager and attorney for the use of the camera systems.
For more information, please contact the Avon Police Department at 970-748-4040.