Evansville police now using new body cams - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Evansville police now using new body cams

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New body cams, some 200 of them, have been issued to the Evansville Police Department.

Every officer that works the streets has been issued a camera. It clips right on the front of their jacket and department policy says they must be turned on before every run they make. 

Officers are allowed to use the cameras out in public, in your private residence, even inside hospitals. Officials say the cameras do not violate hippa laws when they are on official police business and they will be turned off during in-room medical procedures. 

Officials expect the number of complaints against officers to drop dramatically as well as the number of incidents where officers are using force.

Officers tell 14 News the cameras will help alter their behavior. Those that are sharp tongued might be more inclined to watch what they say.

"About 95% of officers wearing them were exonerated during internal affairs investigations if they had it on video. We've only had them on the streets for less than two weeks and we've already seen that happen here," said Sgt. Jason Cullum with EPD. "We had a complaint about an officer being discourteous and treating a female as a second class citizen basically. We were able to watch the video and show that was not the case. Then actually call her and say your statements were inaccurate and we have the video to back that up." 

With all technology, officials say there will be glitches. Officers are required to turn on the cameras before each incident, but in emergency situations, they aren't going to be expected to click on the camera before reaching for a weapon to protect themselves or save someone else.

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