Mayor Elkins Initiates Police Bodycam Program

Newburgh Heights Village council approves body cameras

Tuesday, December 2nd 2014, 9:23 pm ESTWednesday, December 3rd 2014, 9:54 am EST

Posted by Cleveland 19 Digital Team

Newburgh Heights Police Chief John Majoy proposed acquiring body cameras for all Newburgh Heights Police officers at a Village Council meeting Monday evening. The proposal outlines the department's policy, research, and data obtained from experimental use over the past 90 days.

The council voted 6-0 Tuesday night in favor of acquiring the body cams.

Back in August, the mayor and safety director implemented a trial program with a variety of different cameras from multiple companies. They hope to implement the program to all officers in the first few weeks of 2015.

The use of cameras is not a new concept to law enforcement, and most departments have dash cameras in their cruisers. However body cameras can allow a more transparent view into officer's interactions with the public. The department's study cited a California police department's study that showed over the course of two years, body cameras reduced complaints against officers by 87 percent, and a 59 percent decrease in use-of-force incidents.

In addition, during NHPD's trial run with the cameras, two complaints for unprofessional conduct were filed against officers. Both incidents were caught on the body cameras and cleared the officers. They also captured video from several high-profile cases that helped investigators.

“These units are already paying dividends by providing evidence of conduct both by our officers, witnesses, and suspects in real time, on scene. The video will be invaluable as a training tool, court documentation, and if necessary, as disciplinary evidence,” said Chief Majoy.

Many concerns, including safety, battery life, privacy, ease of use, and training were addressed in the study that you can read HERE

The department is looking to buy 10 cameras, and all full time officers will be issued their own and part-time officers will be given one when on duty. They found the VieVuLU3 was the best camera overall, and the city will have to pay $3,000 annually for three years to get 11 cameras.

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