Next month, Springfield Police officers will begin wearing bodycams. Advocates say they help confirm actions by -or against- police, providing transparency and accountability in all encounters.
The rollout comes as the SPD finds itself under public scrutiny, for its handling of a July 2020 protest and its chief being placed on administrative leave.
But SPD Lieutenant George Crolly says this initiative precedes those events.
“This project began before protests happened, before George Floyd, before any kind of investigations or lawsuits occurred," Crolly told KLCC.
"It’s just a timing thing, now that we’re able to publicize it and we’re moving forward, contracts signed, purchase orders made. That being said I think the use of bodycams will help with our transparency with those kinds of issues in the future.”
Crolly says storage of footage is the costliest line item. The SPD will use a secure cloud storage of video evidence, which can be kept anywhere from six months to 100 years.
SPD Lt. Crolly says they also plan to eventually equip squad cars with cameras.
“With in-car video, we can’t take all our vehicles offline in one day. So we’re going to be rotating cars through, one at a time or two at a time through a vendor and having that installed. And then once the cars come back, we’ll be bringing additional cars out.
"So that may take upwards of a couple more months at the most, I hope. Maybe sooner. It just depends on vendor availability.”
A U.S. Department of Justice grant for $120,000 has helped offset some of the costs to Springfield taxpayers.
Eugene Police began implementing bodycams in 2013.
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