The Denver Post
Denver could join a growing list of cities where police wear digital cameras to record encounters with the public, a move the local ACLU says could increase officers' accountability but one that raises concerns among privacy advocates.
In two weeks, the will launch a 60-day pilot program with 23 officers testing the "body-worn digital recording devices," which can be clipped to uniforms or, in the case of one model, worn as a headset. All record audio as well as video. Once that testing is done, the department will decide whether to use the cameras.
The technology will provide evidence that can be used in court and cut down on cases that hinge on the officer's word versus the suspect's, said Lt.
"Based on concerns raised about the pattern of abuse in our law enforcement community, this is a great first step," Ulibarri said of the body cameras.
At least during the trial period, the officers testing the technology will decide when to activate their cameras. If police adopt the devices, protocols could be designed that would remove discretion from officers and specify when they must turn on their camera.
It takes time to get accustomed to the devices, and giving officers discretion over their use will assure that a cop isn't preoccupied with triggering the camera when entering a critical situation, Martinez said.
The ACLU's Ulibarri said the cameras should be on throughout the day.