The D.C. Police Department hopes to save time, money and energy with the utilization of new, on-body cameras. On Oct. 1, 165 police officers will test five different models in each of the city’s seven police districts, reports The Washington Post.
“The bottom line is, we believe that the body-worn cameras will enhance police work in our city, especially at a time when our population is steadily growing,” Mayor Vincent C. Gray told The Post.
The program is currently being used in a number of other states and has had a unanimously positive response. Voice of San Diego reports that complaints against officers in Rialto, Calif. have declined by 88 percent and use of force has declined by 60 percent.
Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier implemented the program in hopes of eliminating complaints and encouraging trust between the public and police officers.
Lanier and Gray released information in regards to the new program on Wednesday. The departmental policy reported that officers would be required to turn on the camera once they depart from the precinct on a call and leave it running until the call is completed. The video will then be kept in the system for 90 days and if it remains unused for criminal or administrative investigation, it will be deleted.
The six-month trial run will determine the program’s effectiveness as well as which model is appropriate for each unit.
Lanier told The Post she suspects it will take 2-3 years for the entire agency to jump on board.