Akron Police to test body cameras

Akron Police to test body cameras

AKRON, OH (WOIO) - Akron Police Chief James Nice and Mayor Don Plusquellic announced on Wednesday that the city will enter into an agreement with

for the lease of 30 body-worn cameras for the


Over the past year, Chief Nice has participated in numerous conferences regarding body-worn camera technology including, most recently, the International Chiefs of Police Conference in October 2014 and the Taser Technology Summit in early December 2014. In September, Nice participated in the Police Executive Research Foundation conference in Washington, D.C., where more than 200 law enforcement officials, scholars, federal agency representatives, and other experts gathered to share their experiences with implementing body-worn camera programs.

"I believe that body cameras will help our officers and the public, by capturing exactly what happens at a scene, so that the police officers are protected as well as our citizens," noted Nice. "I have no reservations about using the cameras for the purposes of viewing what happens during an incident; in fact I welcome it -- as do the vast majority of our officers on the street. Body cameras have been shown to reduce citizen complaints and uses of force. The  major concerns involve the massive amount of storage needed for the data and the cost."

As a result of Nice's ongoing discussions with body camera manufacturers and experts, Taser International, a premier manufacturer of body-worn cameras, has agreed to lease approximately 30 cameras to the Akron Police Department for the purposes of testing and evaluation, at no cost to the city. Taser International has also agreed to waive the license fee and data storage fees associated with this equipment during the testing period.

"First, I want to give Chief Nice credit for looking at new technology advancements long before this summer's controversy. This is a good first step in making changes that will instill more public confidence in our police department," said Mayor Plusquellic. "We are still researching best practices for additional specialized training for our officers to assist them in handling potentially deadly confrontational encounters. Hopefully, between the body cameras, more training, and other nationwide best practices policies, we can keep our police officers safer while building more trust with our citizens."

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