VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — For the next 60 days, the Vancouver Police Department will try a body camera and dash camera computer system to see if the company’s technology is the right fit for the department’s needs.
The body camera looks like a cell phone that snaps into an officer’s bulletproof vest, which has a hole for the lens to see through. There are 2 dash cams, one in front of the car and another in the back.
These cameras have many automatic recording features. For example, when sirens are on or if an officer steps out of the vehicle with their sirens on, and also if they pull their gun.
Vancouver police officials said this is a necessary step toward transparency.
“Some events within the last few years have increased the voices of the community saying this is something they were really interested in,” said Troy Price with VPD.
These body cams come after several police shootings among minorities, homeless and mentally ill in recent years. Leaders of the NAACP and the League of United Latin American in Vancouver told KOIN 6 News they’ll take this step of progress toward accountability but anxiously await to see how the policy plays out.
This pilot program is on a small fleet of cars. If everything goes well during this trial period, VPD hopes to have a body cam system fully rolled out in Spring 2022.