City of Clare PD share their body worn video policy template with other forces
City of Clare police department, MI, have been using Reveal body cameras and DEMS software for over a year with great success. As a pioneer of body worn video in the United States, Clare PD want to help other small to medium sized departments get their own body worn video projects under away and have shared their body worn video policy to be used as a template for other forces to use.
The policy covers all the essential procedures regarding body worn video, including administration, when and how to use, restrictions, storage and supervisory responsibilities.
Additionally, the policy outlines the reasons as to why body worn video is being used. The primary objectives are highlighted as being:
Body worn cameras (BWCs) allow for accurate documentation of police-public contacts, arrests, and critical incidents. They also serve to enhance the accuracy of officer reports and testimony in court.
Audio and video recordings also enhance this agency’s ability to review probable cause for arrest, officer and suspect interaction, and evidence for investigative and prosecutorial purposes and to provide additional information for officer evaluation and training.
The BWC may also be useful in documenting crime and accident scenes or other events that include the confiscation and documentation of evidence or contraband.
As a pioneer of the technology in the States, Clare PD have come across a number of challenges but have found that the various stake holders behind body worn video have received the reality very positively.
“Everybody is 100% behind it.” explained Officer John Pedjac of Clare, “Right now we’re the first to be using them around here which means everybody has had to get used to them.
“The courts are experiencing them for the first time, for example, although that’s the nice thing about these cameras – when you have footage, you don’t have to go to court. And it’s reducing our court appearances significantly, which means there is often no charge to us where there would have been before.
“The public have received it pretty well too. When we came to the UK and saw the RS3-SX being used by Hampshire Constabulary in Portsmouth, we saw how the front facing screen was being used to be open to the public and how they were happy with it. That’s what got us set on body cameras really.
“But there has been a lot of positivity around it. Now that body cameras are a bit more known, people come up to us and say “are you wearing body cameras?” And they are impressed when they find out we were actually doing it a long time before most other departments. They are impressed by our pro-active stance on policing.”