Police in Indianapolis have started using body cameras in a 60 day trial period to determine their effectiveness and work out issues such as staffing, storing data, how long to keep the video and who gets to request access to it.
The plan is to start with 12 cameras, used primarily in traffic situations. Six of the officers will be asked to inform the public that they are being recorded and the other six will not, as even notification of the usage is being studied. Several different types of cameras will be tested as well, with a range of sizes and technologies.
“We have to look to make sure whatever we go with is wearable. We will have to look at technical aspects, performance and make sure we get video that’s quality stuff,” said deputy chief Brian Mahone.
One of the most important questions the department will be evaluating is whether the officers and community need and are prepared for surveillance by body cameras in their homes, cars and neighborhoods.
“We are looking to see if there are legal issues and for safety problems,” continued Mahone. He stated that a controlled group was important to test the many different questions they wanted to evaluate prior to deciding whether or not to invest in a wider usage of the cameras.