Spend $90,000 on cameras to rope in the cops and save the people of Fairfax County several million paid out in law suits caused by the punks within the police ranks....cameras cost is less than the Fairfax County Police Royal Entitlement Navy and AirForce...but unlike the Fairfax County Police Royal Entitlement Navy, the cameras actually do something.
ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Albuquerque police are going to require officers to use cameras to record all encounters with the public.
The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/KO6kVn) that the department is slated to put the new requirement, an expansion of a current policy, into effect Sunday.
Presently, officers are required to use small, digital lapel-mounted cameras to record searches and disorderly conduct arrests. But under the new requirement, the small cameras will be on every time an officer interacts with a member of the public.
Police Chief Ray Schultz said the change was recommended by the Police Oversight Commission. He said the department has purchased about 200 of the newer pen cameras for about $60 apiece.
"Hopefully, this will help to resolve some of the issues that have been ongoing," Schultz said, referring to officers' versions of events, particularly in use of force cases, being called into question by community groups.
The new cameras also come as the department faces heat from civil rights groups for 24 officer-involved shootings — 17 fatal — since 2010. They have been pressing for a U.S. Justice Department investigation into the shootings, but federal officials have not said if they would probe the department.
Meanwhile, the Albuquerque Police Department has instituted a number of reforms, including raising the requirements for incoming officers and having an independent
review panel look into all officer-involved shootings.
By last summer, each of the more than 650 uniformed officers had been issued a lapel camera, Schultz said. The department has bought more than 1,200 of the easily breakable cameras for about $100 each since the department began ordering them in 2010.
Schultz said the new pen cameras will help with investigations. "We continue to see good results where the officers are exonerated after having false complaints made against them," he said.
Schultz said the policy change is likely to create a "logistical nightmare" for APD administrative staff. The department's officers respond to more than 1,500 calls for service per day on average.
"The technology still continues to emerge, and it is not yet perfect," he said. "We're trying to work through the bugs, and the biggest problem for us is going to be how to copy and retain the video from the cameras."
Officers can be reprimanded for not turning on their recorders, Schultz said. An officer could be fired if he or she repeatedly fails to record encounters.
Lapel cameras hold about six hours of video. The pen cameras hold less than two hours.