Menlo Park police have been using digital audio recorders for some time. But now, they’ll be replacing them with video cameras – specifically, 2-inch cameras that hook onto officers' uniforms.
“Whether it's a criminal event where we need it to use it for evidence or if it is an Internal Affairs investigation or some complaint where someone has accused an officer of some misconduct, we can use this to investigate those complaints,” Cmdr. Dave Bertini said.
The video recorders can be activated with the swipe of a hand, and the body cams will be used to record every single contact with people – and there’s no requirement to tell anyone the cameras are on.
The camera's video will upload to a terminal in the car and from there to a server back at the police station.
The officers are a few months away from wearing the cameras, as the computer system needs to be upgraded, but they say they’re looking forward to using them.
Menlo Park police are joining other Bay Area police departments like San Francisco and Oakland in using this technology. They are also considering using the technology in Los Angeles, too.