More police departments across the country are outfitting officers with body cameras so they have video proof of all interactions with the public. Bellevue police officers have been experimenting with the cameras for four years and Chief Mark Elbert says it isn’t an overnight process.
Chief Elbert says, “Number one you have to have enough storage. As you can imagine these video files are very large. It’s not just a matter of putting the camera on. You have to have the storage. You have to have protocols in place when to turn them on, when to turn them off. There is the logistics of it and making sure you have software that works with it from a property and evidence standpoint. And then you have budgetary issues.”
Chief Elbert says each camera runs between $500 and $800.
When it comes to interacting with the public, Chief Elbert says people notice them right away. He says, “It is obvious that the troop is wearing a camera so if you are dealing with an irrational person and they see that camera that kind of changes the tone of the conversation.”
Chief Elbert says they are looking at one system body and cruiser dash camera that could be downloaded at the same time. He says instead of two systems it would be only one and that could make it more affordable.