CSPD rolls out new body-worn cameras to aid in transparency

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — You might notice something a little different on officers’ uniforms.

Beginning this week, the Colorado Springs Police Department will now be wearing body cameras.

The department purchased 500 cameras but will begin with an initial roll out to include 65 officers from the Gold Hill Subdivision. Last year, CSPD received a $600,000 grant from the Department of Justice which was matched by the city to help cover the costs for the first two years.

The body-worn cameras are an investment that Police Chief Pete Carey says will provide an extra layer of transparency and accountability to the public. With that being said however, the department recognizes that the new cameras won’t always be able to record all angles of any given situation.

“The different ones, if you have it up here, this thing moves,” explained Officer Michael Good. “If you move, if you run — when we looked at the video it was very shaky. This one holds it in there much more secure and you’re less likely to get it knocked off in a struggle.”

The cell phone-like cameras also allow officers to add critical information without having to return to a station and use a computer.

“Things like notes, case numbers that will help us keep track of the videos — they can add that right on to the device,” said Commander Pat Rigdon with the specialized enforcement division.

Another advantage these cameras have are automated triggers. Anytime the sirens come on, a door opens or an officer begins to run, the cameras instinctively turn on.

“I like the triggers on the car,” said Good. “It has the capability at a later time, like the Commander said, if you’re getting on a call, or certain calls, it can turn on automatically as you’re coming into a particular area.”

Everything recorded then uploads through a router inside the police cruisers.

“Once they get back to one of our substations the data automatically uploads to a cloud based storage system,” said Rigdon.

By December, CSPD hopes all 500 cameras will be in use, something officers believe will be beneficial to the department.

“It’s definitely going to help those instances where officers are being complained on or at the bare minimum, we can look at the video because when you’re in the heat of the moment, you might not remember every single detail,” said Good.

 

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