The Amarillo City Council has recently approved a $54,654 contract with Trinity Innovative Solutions to provide the Amarillo Police Department with 35 GETAC body-worn cameras for officers.
(TNS) — The Amarillo, Texas, City Council has approved a $54,653.55 contract with Trinity Innovative Solutions to provide the Amarillo Police Department with 35 GETAC body-worn cameras.
"It is the policy of the Amarillo Police Department that officers will activate body worn cameras when such use is appropriate to the proper performance of their official duties, and where the recordings are consistent with this policy and state law," Amarillo Police Department Sgt. Carla Burr noted via response to a Globe-News email inquiry regarding the purchase.
According to Burr, the department's body-worn camera policy was created in February 2016, noting the department had to test different systems, as well as determine storage and other related factors.
"The cameras were finally purchased and issued beginning in 2018 to our Motors officers, and continued into 2019 for the remainder of those who are required to wear them," per Burr, indicating 229 officers presently use body-worn cameras. "Currently all patrol / uniform officers and supervisors, NPO, PACE, Motors, K9, CIT, SWAT, and the 35 that were just purchased will be for detectives."
According to Burr, if an officer works off duty assignments regularly, they will have a body-worn camera issued to them and each body-worn camera is assigned to a specific officer.
"Body worn cameras shall only be initiated for legitimate police business and may not be used to record fellow officers, supervisors or other members of the public for non-police matters," per the body-worn camera policy. "Officers shall activate their body worn camera during any officer police business contact. Officers will not discontinue the use of the body worn camera once it is in use, unless the nature and circumstances of the contact interaction dictates otherwise."
Per the APD, if an officer fails to activate the body worn camera, fails to record the entire contact, or interrupts the recording, the officer will document why a recording was not made, was interrupted, or was terminated in a written report. Additionally, any decision not to activate the body worn camera because it is unsafe, unrealistic, or impracticable will be based on whether a reasonable officer under the same or similar circumstances would have made the same decision.
A policy described by Subsection (a) may not require a peace officer to keep a body worn camera activated for the entire period of the officer's shift.
©2020 Amarillo Globe-News, Texas. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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