Montgomery County Pilot Body Camera Program Off to a Good Start

Montgomery County police officials recently met with Montgomery County Council members to discuss the county’s body camera pilot program which was launched earlier this summer. As reported in Bethesda Magazine:

So far 76 officers have been outfitted with body cameras: 23 have gone to executive staff and 53 to volunteers, including patrol, traffic and school resource officers, according to Assistant Chief Luther Reynolds. Reynolds himself was wearing one of the black, rectangular Taser Axon body cameras on his chest at the meeting.

Paul Liquorie, the patrol services duty commander, said the cameras have been helpful in gathering evidence, such as 360-degree views of crime scenes and capturing the demeanor of individuals suspected of drunk driving.

The article also notes that there have been almost no technical issues since the pilot program began, and that the department has taken steps to ensure that the cameras are used as a tool in building community trust.

Reynolds said the department has taken considerable effort to train officers on constitutional issues—such as improper searches or stops—and that cameras are only one step toward building community trust.

“These cameras aren’t going to give us trust,” Reynolds said. “We have to earn that and it happens one contact at a time, every officer at a time… but in general, we’ve got to do the right things. I think 99.9 percent of our officers do just that and I think these cameras are going to be helpful in what we’re doing and how we do it.”

Since officers started wearing them in July the cameras have captured 4,776 videos for a total of 650 gigabytes of footage, according to Brian Acken, the director of the police department’s information management and technology division.

“From a technical perspective there has been almost no issues,” Acken said.

For more information read the full article in Bethesda Magazine.