PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – After the City of Vancouver approved funding for a police body camera program in 2022, the city is now focused on implementing the program in the new year.
Reflecting on 2022, Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle told KOIN 6 News the camera program is one of her proudest accomplishments within the last year.
According to the mayor, Vancouver has an estimated $5.5 million contract to bring in police-worn cameras, in-car cameras and new interview room cameras to the city’s police force. In addition to advancing their camera program, the city also hired a new police chief along with additional officers.
The mayor said she expects the camera program to be implemented within the first quarter of 2023 — citing delays from supply chain issues.
Implementation of the program includes “200 body cameras and the whole computer system that goes along with it, but also keeping all of the data and then using it both for the prosecuting attorney, and for the officers, and for the public, that is a huge piece. So, the implementation of that program will take quite a bit of time,” McEnerny-Ogle said.
She also noted the training officers have to undergo for the program.
“The training the officers need when they’re using the body cameras, when they’re using it in the car, when does it come on? When does it turn off? What does it record? And then how to release that information. That’s going to be a big piece for us.”
In 2022, Vancouver city officials announced $1.5 million in state funding was approved to help purchase body-worn and in-car cameras. The funding comes after the Vancouver Police Department piloted the cameras in December 2021.
The program development was largely in response to mounting public requests to increase transparency after the department shot 4 people, including minority individuals and those with mental illness within a 30-day period in 2019.