More police officers are wearing body cameras in the panhandle
Amarillo, TX - More people are asking the police to wear body cameras especially after the recent coverage on officers using excessive force.
These body cameras are meant to see and hear everything going on when police officers interact with citizens and help with accountability, civil liability and false allegations.
These devices can record more than four hours of HD video and audio. The officer wears the camera on their lapel or glasses and control when to record.
"Today's generation is getting use to cameras and technology, so I don't think it's something that would impede us from talking to citizens and I think that you should be truthful with the citizen and ask them and let them know. I wouldn't have a problem with officers telling the citizens-- hey I am recording you, do you mind if we record this," says Lt. Ray Resendez, Canyon PD.
After each shift officers download the video on to the computer. "Officers can review the video that's on it but they have but they have no ability to delete video off of this camera," says Sgt. Zach Nethery, WTAMU PD.
A supervisor will review and delete it after 90 days unless it's being used for an investigative case. And these videos are available to the public under open record laws. "We would treat those like we would any other request, that they have to submit for and obviously if it's an ongoing investigation or a criminal investigation, it would follow any other legal procedures that any other court document issues that they would want to see," says Lt. Resendez.
Body cameras can cost up to $800 which is part of the reason why some departments have not purchased them for their officers.
From the five departments NewsChannel 10 spoke with: Amarillo and Potter County do not have these cameras and do not plan on getting them anytime soon. Randall County and Canyon police department only have them on a few officers. WTAMU have all their officers equipped.
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