To Protect And Record: Independent Monitor Critical of DPD’s Body Camera Usage

By Mark Ackerman

DENVER (CBS4)– Denver’s Independent Monitor has identified 55 potential violations of Denver’s body worn camera policy in the first half of 2017 among Denver police officers.

The main issue – police officers failing to activate their body cameras when required.

c city body cams 1 To Protect And Record: Independent Monitor Critical of DPD’s Body Camera Usage

(credit: CBS)

In its semi-annual report, the Office of the Independent Monitor writes “given the high number of potential violations” the OIM recommends a continuation of training in body worn camera activation.

According to the report, general citizen complaints in the first half of 2017 against police officers were up 22 percent over the first half of last year.

dpd off duty body cams 6pkg frame 1315 To Protect And Record: Independent Monitor Critical of DPD’s Body Camera Usage

(credit: CBS)

The Denver Police Department launched a body camera pilot-program in 2014. The department rolled out body cameras to the rest of its officers this year. All sworn officers were required to watch a training video on body camera activation.

The independent monitor said it would gauge the effectiveness of new training and make further recommendations if the “high rate of potential violations continues.”

parker police body cams To Protect And Record: Independent Monitor Critical of DPD’s Body Camera Usage

Parker Police Body Cameras (credit: CBS)

According to a CBS4 Investigation, 54 out of 109 police departments in Colorado have equipped officers with body cameras. Twenty-two of the 63 sheriff offices across Colorado have body cameras. Yet, very few of the 76 Colorado law enforcement agencies with body cameras had ever disciplined officers for failure to activate body cameras.

DPD did not immediately return our calls for comment.

Mark Ackerman is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. Follow him on Twitter @ackermanmark

Comments

One Comment

  1. Robert Chase says:

    Of course; police activate cameras when their record will corroborate their statements and show them acting lawfully — they turn them off prior to committing crimes against suspects.

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