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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Vancouver Police Department launches body-worn cameras program

Sgt. James Kelly said he’s seen positive reactions from those who notice the camera he now wears. Some community members told him they’re glad the camera program, a multiyear effort, is finally up and running.

Kelly said he’s had a good experience with the equipment so far. The cameras add transparency, he said, especially when handling citizen complaints.

“As a supervisor, I think it’s awesome,” Kelly said. “It’s about time.”

Within an hour of getting his camera, Kelly said he received a call about a wanted person. After the incident, he took a look at the camera footage from the search, he said, and noticed things he hadn’t recalled before.

Assistant Chief Troy Price said the process of equipping officers with cameras has gone smoothly. About 10 city IT staff worked full time to get the program set up to launch. He said they wanted to work through kinks in the software and equipment before deploying the cameras on the streets. Having IT staff involved early in the process was key to a successful launch, he said.

“It’s satisfying to know we met the needs and desires of the community,” Price said. “It’ll help us reach a new level of transparency.”

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