Abilene Police Starting to Use Body Worn Cameras

Published 11/19 2013 05:34PM

Updated 11/19 2013 06:56PM

The Abilene Police Department recently started using a gadget that's becoming more and more popular across the country.

APD's Special Operations Division owns ten VIEVU body-worn cameras and have at least used them twice, according to public information officer George Spindler.

The Special Operations team use the cameras during a search warrant. The members of the division are normally undercover during narcotics investigation.

"You have an opportunity where the officer can use the camera when he or she goes into the environment," Officer Spindler said. "It's going to be huge when it comes to recording evidence that can be used towards prosecution."

Also, the recorded video will help keep the officers accountable when they step into any situation. If there are any complaints, officers can always refer back to the video.

"This is one way to help substantiate or refute any allegations about an officer," adds Officer Spindler. "Clearly the audio and video will help that."

According to a Policefoundation.org study, officers that used these cameras for a year see a 50 percent decrease in the number of "use of force" incidents. Complaints against police dropped as well.

In addition, Officer Spindler feels this is a great tool for training. At this time, police officers from other divisions are not using the cameras. Officer Spindler says it will take additional steps and assessment to consider purchasing more body worn cameras which can cost up to $1,000.

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