DETROIT (WWJ) – Looking to improve what he calls the integrity of the department, Detroit Police Chief James Craig on Wednesday announced a new pilot program that will utilize body-worn cameras by select officers.
Already at use in cities including Dallas and New Orleans, the body-mounted cameras will be worn by 20 Detroit police in the city’s second precinct beginning next week.
No bigger than a lipstick tube, the cameras are meant to record an officer’s-eye view at all times.
The technology will not only allow officers to accurately document critical information, crime scene evidence and police-citizen interaction, Craig said, also promote more confidence within the community.
“There’ll be a 30-day study, and following that we’ll conduct an evaluation, conduct an additional 30 days, and come up with a final report that will make a decision,” said Craig. “A lot of the decision certainly will do with cost. But, again it’s our effort to enhance transparency.”
A representative of the Arizona-based company that produces the Taser Axon Flex Body-Worn Camera and Taser Body System Camera said independent studies have shown a 60 percent reduction in the use of force and an 88 percent reduction in false claims against police departments that use the product.