Officer-worn cameras: A feasible investment

Deltek Analyst Joanna Salini reports.

The public safety sector has taken full advantage of new-wave video streaming as a way to obtain information. Not only can videos be used to make 911 calls, but officers are now using various video surveillance technology to assist in making arrests.

Officer-worn cameras have been implemented in a handful of cities including Oakland, Calif., and Cincinnati, Ohio. The cameras record both audio and video of police and civilian interactions. The devices can be fastened to a belt or uniform, or worn as a headset in order to ensure all evidence is captured in an unbiased manner. The videos are used to avoid any discrepancies in reporting an alleged crime and help accelerate the investigation process. The most common uses for officer-worn cameras are to record arrests and traffic stops, and capture data to assist in criminal investigations.

Denver, Colo., and Seattle, Wash., recently proposed pilot programs to test the use of the cameras. So far, both programs have received strong support, which may influence other cities to employ similar programs. Earlier this year, Austin, Texas, released a request for information (RFI) to obtain specifics on possible cameras for the city’s police department. Similarly, in late November, the city of Wichita, Kan., awarded a contract to Taser International to supply cameras for its police officers.

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