Police Auditor Commends EPD Bodycams' Role In Investigations, Transparency

Jul 9, 2019

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.

Close-up of bodycam worn by EPD officers.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

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.

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.
Credit EPD/Lane County DA's Office

“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.