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Police Auditor Commends EPD Bodycams' Role In Investigations, Transparency

Brian Bull

It’s been two years since Eugene Police officers began wearing body cameras on-duty.  And an independent review agency has high praise for the devices.

Mark Gissiner is Police Auditor, and co-author of an annual report being presented to the Eugene Police Commission Thursday.  He says the implementation of body cams have been invaluable in discovering the facts of an incident, including the fatal shooting of Charles Landeros by police last January.

Credit EPD/Lane County DA's Office
Bodycam footage of the confrontation between two EPD officers and Charles Landeros (right) in the Cascade Middle School on the morning of January 11, 2019.

“We’d wished of course that the video had been released earlier and the District Attorney’s office had a viewpoint about when best to release the video," Gissiner says. 

"In the meantime the community was in a holding pattern.  That was probably upsetting for people and also then pushed narratives that may or may not have been true, so that was certainly a blessing when those finally came out.”

Gissiner adds body cams have substantially increased the efficiency and accuracy of investigations.  

The City of Eugene provided $250,000 towards the body cams in 2017, to match a federal grant the EPD also received for the initiative.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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