Indianapolis officials announced a two month pilot program to test body cameras on its police officers.
The program, set to begin in March and end in May, will help determine if body cameras are feasible for the city. The city will look at its cost, necessary administrative support and community and officer feedback.
“They have been found in other jurisdictions to reduce complaints to improve officer training and frankly, make policing safer for everyone,” Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says. “That’s what I call a win-win-win.”
The IMPD Capt. Harold Turner, and officer in charge of the pilot, says a number of criteria will be used to determine if the cameras were useful during the test period, including reduced complaints and the implementation of training based upon data.
Turner also says like all new technology there will be a learning curve, but officers will receive training on the cameras.
“Just like anything else we will train, we will develop a policy that will walk hand in hand with this pilot program so that when it is ready, the officers will be trained and ready to go with the program,” Turner says.
All police officers in the city’s three largest districts -- the north, east and southeast district middle shifts -- will pilot software from three different vendors.
The last time the city tested police body cameras was in 2014 which led the city to decide not to implement the cameras. Since that study, officials say the cost of cameras has significantly decreased.
Early estimates predict the cameras would cost the city between $2 and $3 million dollars a year.
IUPUI will assist IMPD in collecting and analyzing officer and community feedback. The city also plans to hold several community events to hear comments and concerns from the public.
Turner says the cameras could be implemented as early as the end of the year.