The Olivette Police Department has deployed the use of body-worn cameras (BWC) for its officers effective June 1, 2022, and welcomes the opportunity for increased transparency.
The Olivette Police Department has developed a culture of high-level customer service, fair and impartial policing, and the use of force only when necessary. The officers’ actions are a matter of public record. The Olivette Police Department has deployed the use of body-worn cameras (BWC) for its officers effective June 1, 2022, and welcomes the opportunity for increased transparency. The camera model is BWC4000. Every officer has been issued their own camera made possible by a Federal Grant in partnership with The Regional Justice Information System (REJIS).
REJIS was awarded $350,000 in grant funding for the purchase of BWCs for participating police agencies within St. Louis County. This BJA grant award was one of the first to take a regional approach to BWC acquisition, rather than each agency filing for federal funds individually.
BWCs are in use by police departments across the United States, as well as globally, as a tool to improve evidentiary outcomes and enhance the safety of and improve interactions between, officers and the communities they serve. BWCs also serve as a method to document the daily activities of officers to increase Department transparency and accountability.
Why Body Cameras?
Body-worn cameras (BWCs) have become an important law enforcement tool with the following objectives:
• Enhance the safety of citizens and officers
• Enhance transparency, accountability, and trust
• Increase the department’s ability to review probable cause for arrests, arrest procedures, officer and suspect interaction, officer and citizen interaction, and training needs.
• Make prosecutions more efficient and effective
Limitations of BWC Footage
• While body-worn camera footage can be a useful tool and can provide a unique perspective on police encounters, there are limitations, including:
• The camera cannot capture what happened outside of the camera’s view or potentially the causation for actions shown, depending on the camera’s perspective and breadth of view. How the camera is mounted and the angle at which the camera is mounted affects the perception of what is seen (officer, suspect, witness, victim perspectives).
• The camera cannot record some important danger cues (such as smells, tensing of muscles, increased pulse rate, physical resistance).
• The night vision component of the camera can see far better than the human eye.
• Camera speed differs from the speed of life.
• An officer’s body may unintentionally block the view of the camera.