KGUN 9News


Which Southern Arizona agencies use body worn cameras and dash cams?

Posted at 9:48 PM, Aug 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-06 01:06:34-04
Which Southern Arizona law enforcement agencies use body worn cameras and dash cams?
After video was released of an officer-involved shooting in Chicago, KGUN9 checked in with local law enforcement.
The Tucson Police Department has 70 cameras assigned to patrol officers and is hoping to expand the program. The department has roughly 330 officers on the streets. TPD does not have dash cams in every marked vehicle, but there are 135.
The Marana Police Department used to have dash cameras, but the company they used no longer updates the software so they aren't able to used the cameras. Instead MPD invested in 60 body cams. Sgt. Chris Warren says they have 85 officers in the department, and they are currently working on getting dash cams through another company.
Deputy Ira Sewell, a spokesperson for the the Pima County Sheriff's Department, says PCSD does not issue body cams or dash cams.
While some agencies say the cameras are an effort to be more transparent, officers say the emerging technology has its downsides. A big issue is the cost of body worn cameras. Purchasing and storing the data can cost thousands for each device.
In April, KGUN9 spoke to TPD Assistant Chief Carla Johnson, who says the cameras only show one point of view and may not be picking up everything the officers eyes are seeing.
"It's an excellent tool, but it's an imperfect tool," Johnson said. "So the information that we glean from that we have to approach it in a way that's measured and cautious."
TPD recently applied for two grants that would allow them to give nearly all of their officers body cams. The department will likely not find out if they will receive the money until the fall.