All Henrico officers will wear the devices by January 2016 if all goes according to plan.
Police accountability has been a big topic of discussion as of late, especially following the alleged unarmed shooting of a teen in Ferguson, Missouri and the resulting riots.
Henrico Police will take a huge step towards maintaining the public’s trust with the implementation of body cameras on all officers by January of 2016, the department announced this week. A select number of officers will have them as part of their uniforms as early as next month.
The funding for the cameras, $800 apiece, will come from funds forfeited from drug dealers, Henrico Police Chief Doug Middleton told the Times-Dispatch:
“It’s a huge asset to us in the investigation of cases and in the investigation of the complaints that come in as well,” Middleton told the [Henrico Board of Supervisors]. “Fair and impartial behavior is one of the hallmarks of policing in a democratic society.”
Studies show that police complaints are generally lower in localities who implement body or dashboard cameras. Implementation of the devices across the Richmond area varies greatly, as the Times-Dispatch points out.
“I am really excited and enthused,” said board Vice Chairman Frank J. Thornton, who represents the Fairfield District. He added: “As Henrico County is becoming more urbanized, this is the way to go.”
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Photo: Ted Strong/RTD