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Body Worn Cameras
History: The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) researched body camera solutions prior to the 2014 events that brought police/community relations to the forefront of the national spotlight, but those incidents accelerated our desire to obtain this technology. In 2015, we applied for and received a $600K grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance that would allow us to implement a program (with a match of City funds) to meet the community’s needs. We engaged the community to learn what our citizens’ expectations were in regard to body cameras via community forums, an electronic survey, and meetings with special interest groups. This engagement allowed us to form a community-focused body-worn camera policy. Utility and Associates were selected as the vendor and in September 2016, a test group of 60 officers were issued cameras, with 40 additional officers issued cameras about 90 days later. By mid-February 2017, all officers of the rank of sergeant and below were issued cameras.
Today approximately 500 cameras are in use and over 125,000 videos have been recorded. The cameras are equipped with “triggers” that automatically turn the camera on in certain situations. Videos have been recorded of almost every type of police enforcement action. They provide valuable evidence in criminal cases and aid in the review of citizen complaints, as well as use of force situations.
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