Honolulu Police Department starts roll out of body cameras

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Police officers on Kauai and Maui are already wearing body cameras.

The Honolulu Police Department will be doing a slow roll out of cameras to a new batch of new officers each month.    

Currently 35 body cameras are assigned to patrol officers in District One.

“So hopefully as we start to roll it out our officers, defense attorneys, the prosecutors office, courts, get used to the system then maybe we can speed up the process and roll it out a little quicker,” said HPD Major Vanic 

Officials are hoping in two years or less.all patrol officers should be equipped with body cameras.
That’s about 1,200 body cameras that will cost about $15 million a year just for the video storage.

“They are required through our policy to turn them on and off each time they initiate a police enforcement encounter or they are sent to a case,” added Vanic. 

Two taps on the center button. 

And when the button is pushed it also captures 30 seconds before the recording was started.

“When they finish work and they go back to the station they will take their camera off,” and they will put it into a docking station which both charges the camera and gets it ready for their next shift and also uploads all the data to the cloud.”

Officers do not have the power to delete video. How long it’s kept for depends on the case.

Videos that are not tied to criminal cases are kept for a minimum of 13 months.
If video captures use of force then that will be kept for minimum of 3 years.

“If they are tied to a criminal case those will usually go through the duration of the statutes of limitations and or whatever the adjudication process is,” said Vanic. 

A couple of patrol officers we spoke to say they’re still getting used to the body cameras but feel transparency is good.

“I think people are going to be able to see exactly what we go through every day and its going to cut out the he said she said hearsay,” said HPD Officer Joelyn Decaires. 

“Not only bad ones or criminal but also the good interactions,” said HPD Sgt. Henry Roberts. “It shows that we care we have compassion too. We don’t get looked on like that a lot of times, and I think this can actually help us with that.”

The public can request for the videos from the body cameras.

You need to fill out an official request to access government records and depending on the situation you may not get the whole clip. 

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