body cameras

Company to Offer Police Free Body Cameras For a Year

Photo: via axon.com

Photo: via axon.com

Axon, one of the nation's major providers of body-worn cameras, is offering to outfit every police officer in America with a free body-worn camera for a one-year trial period.

The offer would allow the participating departments to obtain the cameras and software but those agencies would be asked to start paying for the devices after a one-year trial period or send the cameras back.

Read more about the story HERE.

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NH Bill Would Require Officers With Complaint History to Wear Body Cams

A bill working it's way through the New Hampshire legislature would require police officers with a substantiated compliant history to wear body cameras.

Police officers in New Hampshire are not currently required to wear body cameras; however, some local police jurisdictions can opt to have their officers wear them.

An increase of 27 percent in penalty assessment court fines would be used to pay for the cameras. 

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Study Finds That Assaults On Police Acutally RISE When Body-Cameras Are Used

Photo: AP

Photo: AP

Two wide-scale studies analyzing the effects of police body-worn cameras on both citizen and police use of force incidents found that the presence of body cameras actually increases the likelihood that an officer will be assaulted.

Studies from the European Journal of Criminology and the Journal of Experimental Criminology found the rate of assaults on police officers actually jumped 15 percent when the officers were using body-worn cameras. 

Interestingly, the studies found that body-worn cameras did not influence the rate in which officers used force; however, officer use of force incidents did increase when officers were given the flexibility of turning the cameras on and off throughout their shift.

More details can be found HERE.

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Media Sues NYPD Over Cost of Accessing Body Cam Footage

Photo: Matt Rourke/AP

Photo: Matt Rourke/AP

An interesting debate has sprung up over just how much a police department should charge the media for access to police body/dash cam footage. A network in New York recently found out that the costs can be substantial.

NY1, a New York based news network and subsidiary of Time Warner Cable News, was recently billed $36,000 for over 190 hours of footage it had received from the NYPD through a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request. 

The network balked at the high cost and has filed a lawsuit against the police department, arguing that the cost makes it prohibitive for the public to access footage that is ostensibly meant to increase transparency.

The NYPD, however, begs to differ and has outlined the time and costs involved in reviewing and redacting the video footage prior to it’s public consumption.

Police officials stated that it took approximately one hour of review for every hour of footage, plus significant additional time in redacting and preparing the video, in order to release the video per the FOIL request. At a cost of $120 per hour to review and redact the material, the costs add up pretty quickly.

This discussion will no doubt become more and more heated as body/dash cam footage become even more ubiquitous.

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Amazing Body Camera Footage Shows Heroic Actions of Officer, After the Officer Had Been Shot

Amazing body camera footage from an officer involved shooting in March was released by the Cleveland police department on Wednesday. The footage shows officers pleading with an armed man to drop his weapon and surrender. The man eventually pointed his weapon at officers and was shot and killed.

What makes the video more remarkable was that the officer pleading with the man had actually just been shot by the man, identified as Charles Johnson, 64. Officers had responded to the scene after Johnson's wife called police to report that her husband had threatened to kill her and their landlady. When officers arrived, they were met with surprise gunfire.

One of Johnson's rounds struck Officer David Muniz in his chest but was stopped by his bulletproof vest.

As officers retreated, Johnson followed them and an armed standoff ensued. In the verbal exchanged caught on the officers body cameras, Johnson is seen pleading with officers to kill him.

"I know you shot me, but I’m not going to shoot you," Officer Muniz told Johnson. 

Although officers tried repeatedly to convince Johnson to drop his weapon he instead pointed his gun at officers and was shot.

"These guys are absolutely genuine American heroes," said police union president Steve Loomistold.

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DOJ to help police purchase 21,000 body cameras

The Department of Justice issued grants totaling $19.3 million on Monday to help police departments across the nation purchase upwards of 21,000 body-worn cameras. The total paled in comparison to the nearly $56 million in grant funding requested by nearly 300 police departments.

In total, 73 agencies will receive the grants. Cities such as Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Chicago received the largest sums while other cities, like Indianapolis, were denied their request for body camera funding. 

More details can be found HERE

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