DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Police Department will begin equipping officers in District 6 with body cameras within the next month as part of a pilot project that will likely go department-wide.
“It’s a safety issue for the officers, also it mitigates complaints,” Denver Police Chief Robert White said.
He announced precinct officers in the district, which covers LoDo, will be equipped with the cameras within the next 30 to 40 days and will use them for six months as part of the program.
“After doing a review of that it is our goal or my goal to have all six districts to be using body cams. A lot of times individuals make complaints on police officers that are 100 percent inaccurate. And it comes down to their word versus the officer’s word. And the other thing is if in fact there are instances where officers are not acting accordingly and we have the body cam that can help validate that information.
“I envision over the next year, year and a half or so all six districts and those officers in the precincts will be having them,” said White.
He made the comments in a department-wide podcast last Friday that was shared with CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass.
DPD will be joining a long list of departments deploying body cameras. The Spokane police department plans to put 220 body cameras on officers this year.
The Los Angeles Police Department is also testing body cameras this year. Other departments from California to Pennsylvania are either trying out body cameras or putting them on all officers.
The cameras can typically be worn on belts, collars and glasses and can cost about $400 to $800 apiece.
At the end of a shift, the video can be downloaded and reviewed. Each camera is capable of recording for 10 hours and the officer wearing the camera will not be able to erase what the camera captures.
“There will certainly be circumstances where you will be required to turn it on,” said Chief White. He said the DPD cameras will not be on ’”24/7″.
“Certain kind of calls, during those circumstances they will be required to turn them on.”