On Saturday police officials in Ferguson began wearing body cameras.
According to the Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson, the department was given roughly 50 body cameras by two companies, Safety Visions and Digital Ally. The two companies donated the body cameras following the deadly police shooting on Aug. 9th of Mike Brown.
Representatives from both Safety Vision and Digital Ally taught the Ferguson police department how to use the devices, which attach to uniforms and record video and audio. The cameras will be assigned to squads and each officer will receive one.
Police officials were able to capture moments from the protests on Saturday. However, the batteries could not withstand the entire day. Jackson believes during normal circumstances the batteries will last a full shift.
Officers are open to the cameras, according to Jackson. He said, “They are really enjoying them.”
In light of the 18-year-old’s death, other cities have announced plans to move forward with efforts to equip police officers with body cameras. Houston’s Police Chief Charles McClelland has asked the city’s government for $8 million to fund 3,500 police officers’ body cameras.
NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton stated he is “actively looking” to gear officers with body cameras. Just last year, a one-year pilot program was announced and supplied devices to five New York City precincts in each borough that had the most stop-and-frisks.
By equipping police officials with body cameras, many hope to improve accountability as well as transparency between law enforcement and the city’s residents.