Raleigh Police Department to begin testing body cameras

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Raleigh Police Department expects to begin testing body-worn cameras beginning next week, they announced Monday.

Body camera.

The department said testing the body cameras is the next step toward equipping 600 officers with them over the next three years. The police department will test at least three different camera systems and the testing phase will last between three and four months.

According to police, each system tested will offer integrated body-worn and in-car cameras to comprehensively record when either one is activated. Around 20 body cameras and five dash cameras are expected to be temporarily supplied by vendors who have offered the Raleigh Police Department their technology to test.

After finishing the testing and evaluating results, the department will decide whether to purchase the cameras or not.

Initial testing will take place under a special memorandum, but that memorandum will not be the department’s final body-worn camera policy.

RELATED: Read the Raleigh Police Department’s body-worn camera policies

The department’s final policy will be developed and issued following the completion of the testing phase and only after the public’s input has been heard, along with feedback from officers.

Different special policies may be required for each individual camera system the department tests, due to differences in the technology used in the different cameras, or as a result of knowledge gained during testing by officers, the police department said.

Any new policies developed during the body camera testing period will be given to the public for review.

Body camera policies will control a number of different aspects involved in the use of the cameras, such as when cameras must be activated, when they can be deactivated, when their use is restricted, and the collection, handling and retention of video recorded by the cameras.

According to the police department, they will monitor the effectiveness and adequacy of the policies created for each body-worn camera.

The public is invited to submit comments that will be reviewed and considered as the final draft of a policy is written. Public comments may be submitted by email to: RaleighBWC@raleighnc.gov.

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