INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 4, 2015) - The Butler University Police Department is testing the use of body cameras for officers. The pilot program will run over the next few weeks and will test a variety of camera brands.
Throughout Butler’s campus, hundreds of cameras capture students’ every move. Now though, there’s another set of eyes that are strapped to the officers in charge of student safety.
“I think it’s great because not only will it help to document incidents, but also to protect the public, protect the police,” said four-year BUPD officer Bill Weber.
“I think that the majority of officers would welcome this type of technology,” he said.
Weber welcomes this next, new phase of law enforcement. He has 30 years’ experience with IMPD and says times have changed and body cameras have become the necessary, new norm.
“This is what the public is asking for and I think any police agency needs to be responsive to the community that they police,” he said.
“Officers have seen it for a number of years now as being the trend of the future so I think they’re open to anything that they can look at and say there’s also a side of this that is a protection for them,” said BUPD Assistant Chief of Operations, John Conley.
Conley is spearheading the body cam trial. The cameras he says act as a tool to protect not only the public, but officers; acting as a deterrent to potential criminals. They even act at times as a safer set of eyes. The camera tested this week by the department synced to an officer’s cell phone and can show what’s hidden around the corner, without putting the officer in harm.
“It’s coming to all police agencies just through the trends across the nation in policing. Incidents happen and officers feel the need to document and the public wants to see us document exactly what happened in these cases,” said Conley.
A variety of cameras will be tested over the next several weeks. No time table has been set up for when the force will pick a specific camera.