INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is in their second week of distributing body cameras to officers.
These cameras are going to give the public a new perspective of what officers see every single day.
“The majority of the officers on this agency want the body cameras,” said IMPD East District Commander Richard Riddle.
The cameras may look like a typical cell phone, but these cameras do a lot of the work themselves.
“Anytime the officer turns on their lights and sirens, the body cam activates. If I was to pull my weapon out that would automatically trigger my camera to turn on,” Commander Riddle explained.
Thirty officers in IMPD’s East District are now equipped with cameras.
Commander Riddle said there have been some technical errors, but overall, the cameras work fine.
“We have instructed our officers on critical scenes and any incident that involves some type of criminal activity that we want those cameras turned on at all times,” Commander Riddle said.
“We push the record button, it’s going to capture the 30 seconds that happened right before we press record, but if we don’t press record, that information isn’t saved anywhere,” said IMPD’s Body Worn Camera System Administrator Lt. Scott Kulig.
“We probably should’ve had them 10 or 15 years ago,” criminal law attorney Robert Turner said.
Turner isn’t just an attorney but was once a police officer. He sees these cameras are benefiting the public and officers.
“Police officers aren’t going to be as violent or as insulting. Citizens are less likely to become violent or vocal insulting to the police when they know it’s being recording,” Turner explained.
Turner thinks most of the video captured will be used for police administration purposes but will come in handy during a police action shooting.
“If it is recorded in a very systematic, organized and documented way, it would be admissible and both ways. Citizens can obtain recordings through subpoena through their attorney,” Turner said.
About 1,100 officers will be equipped with these body cameras.
IMPD is spending $9.2 million to cover all costs associated with the body cameras.
IMPD can store the video as long as they need to. Lt. Kulig said the state requires them to keep the video for at least 190 days, but most recordings will be kept for two years depending on the case.