Crime Tracker: CDA Police Say Body Cameras Crucial Piece Of Crim - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Crime Tracker: CDA Police Say Body Cameras Crucial Piece Of Crime-Fighting

KHQ.COM - The Spokane Police Department is getting ready to implement a new tool into its crime-fighting arsenal. Body cameras from the company Taser are expected to arrive sometime this month. SPD says that it's busy developing body camera policies, procedures and training with the City's legal team, the police guild, the county prosecutor and several other groups.

SPD says it hopes to have the cameras in use by the end of 2014.

As the City of Spokane prepares for the body cameras, the Coeur d’Alene Police Department is well into its second year of using body cameras on patrol. So far, the department says it’s happy with its investment. The body camera footage helped clear Officer Spencer Mortensen following a deadly shooting last summer. His camera footage helped prove the officer was justified in killing a man who refused to listen to his order to drop two knives.

Sergeant Bill Tilson says officers now rely on the cameras as a crucial piece of their uniform. Not only do they record highly charged confrontations, they also help officers document scenes. Tilson says prosecution is up and requests for subpoenas are down. He also says the cameras can help eliminate claims made against officers. The department can simply rely on the evidence captured on the cameras to figure out what exactly happened.

Coeur d’Alene Police have 70 cameras on the force. They cost about a thousand dollars a piece and come from the company Vievu, which works with 3,100 agencies in 16 countries.

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