Richmond police may get uniform cameras - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Richmond police may get uniform cameras

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Richmond police officers could soon have another set of eyes on city streets. The department is looking into the use of body cameras mounted right on the officers' uniforms.

Police have tested out this new technology in the last few months. Body cameras are a recent trend in law enforcement, but a final decision on whether or not the city will actually purchase the equipment has not been made.

The cameras are made by Taser International, the same company that manufactures the stun guns. These cameras can be worn on the body or head. They can be attached to sunglasses, collars, epaulettes, hats or helmets. 

Taser says the purpose of the equipment is to improve officer safety and accountability. Local attorneys have said it's good to have reliable images for cases, instead of having to count on the memory of an incident.

ACLU executive director Claire Gastanaga said she thinks body cameras can be a very useful tool that can help both police and citizens, but there are some caveats.

"For us, it's not the technology, per se. It's how it's used," she said. Her concerns include making sure the police don't have control over when the cameras are turned off and on, making sure the public is informed about being filmed, making sure the pictures collected are only used for a specific investigation, and making sure that the person being filmed has a right to view the video.

Henrico County police have tested the cameras in the last six months, and are researching the feasibility of using them. Chesterfield County police are not considering uniform cameras at the moment.

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