Metro Exploring Officers Wearing Cameras

LAS VEGAS -- Cameras mounted on police car dashboards often capture high speed chases and dramatic arrests, but some police officers are now wearing cameras as part of their uniforms.

"From a police side, it will capture the good work that the men and women of the (Metro Police) do everyday," Metro Police Lt. Andy Walsh said.

Walsh showed exclusive video from the police department's testing of camera technology that's helping capture criminals.

"It will capture for the public when they get to see these videos the evil that we have to confront on a regular basis out there on the street," Walsh said.

In one crime captured on camera, the suspect runs from the officer right into a convenience store, only to be face to face with the officer in an aisle seconds later.

The suspect is quickly handcuffed and arrested, and the officer discovers key evidence. The criminal ditched a handgun on the store shelves, hiding it by the Pop Tarts and Doritos.

Incidentally, two weeks after getting out of jail in this case, Metro said he would go on to commit murder.

The case shows the benefits of cameras, Walsh said.

"It will also capture the true nature of our interactions with the public, both when they're good interactions and both when we're dealing with people who are violent," he said.

Last week's Justice Department report on Metro officer-involved shootings suggested the police department explore body cameras. Sheriff Doug Gillespie said he is open to the idea."

"I've actually talked to some officers who were wearing the body cameras that we were testing, and one senior officer who wasn't in favor of it but ended up wearing it, he was amazed at how it deescalated situations when you told people, ‘Oh this is a camera,'" Gillespie said.

Metro has a number of concerns to consider about body cameras, including privacy issues, policies on when officers should start recording and how long video data should be kept.

With some body cameras costing up to $1,100 each, there's also a huge price tag to consider.


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