June 13, 2013 in Washington Voices

Liberty Lake officers volunteer to wear body cameras

 
File photo

Officer Mike Bogenreif of Liberty Lake Police shows a body camera.
(Full-size photo)

Half the members of the Liberty Lake Police Department have volunteered to wear body cameras and are recording their encounters with the public, said police Chief Brian Asmus. He is one of five people in the department wearing the recording devices.

Using the cameras is voluntary because the devices are not addressed in the contract the department has with its officers. Videos are downloaded by each officer at the end of their shift and cannot be edited or deleted by the officers. The video clips are stored for 60 days and then automatically deleted unless they have been tagged for retention, Asmus said. The cameras must be activated by the officers, who are required to tell people that they are being recorded.

The videos can be reviewed if there is a question about an officer’s actions or if a complaint is received, Asmus said. “I don’t have access to it unless I need to,” he said. “The officers are liking that.”

So far a few videos have been saved as evidence, Asmus said. They can be useful in driving under the influence cases and in major incidents. “I think it’s good technology,” he said.

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