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RPD Officers to Begin Wearing Body Cameras in August

By Staff

 

bodycamerasThe Rochester Police Department has announced its officers will begin wearing body cameras in August.

Officers in the Clinton Neighborhood Section will be the first officers to begin wearing the cameras in the next month.

According to officials, additional sections will have the cameras in use by February 2017.

And, although the officers will not be wearing the cameras during routine foot patrols, RPD officials said the officers will wear the cameras during 911 calls, pursuits, arrests, and in any situation in which they may use force.

“Virtually every 911 call, the officer initially will have it on, because he won’t know if he has to arrest someone, detain someone, use any type of force, if he is going to get in any type of pursuit,” Lt. Mike Perkowski, head of the Body Worn Camera Program reportedly stated. “Once the officer gets to the job, and he is able to decide what is going on with it, he may or may not have the option to turn it off.”

RPD will have 504 cameras in use by its officers in the coming months, which means there will be one camera per each officer, lieutenant, and captain on duty.

According to Perkowski, officers will use MES Lawmen Supply Company’s HD Protech M1G2 cameras, and all personnel in the patrol division will wear the cameras, including both lieutenants and sergeants.

In addition, he said any video taken by officers using the cameras will be stored in a digital database for at least six months.

Rochester City Council approved the vendor contract for the cameras in January, and the city’s budget has allocated $2 million to the RPD for purchasing the body cameras. The U.S. Department of Justice has also contributed $600,000 to the program.

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