Fayetteville police get body-worn cameras

Courtesy photo

The Fayetteville Police Department will begin using body-worn cameras this week, according to a news release.

The cameras are part of an initiative to increase officer safety, strengthen police accountability, create a greater operational transparency and trust, while also providing for more effective prosecution and reducing complaints against officers.

Beginning Monday, Dec. 18, all uniformed officers will be required to wear a camera, and shall activate it to record most contacts with citizens while on duty (see rules below). The retention period of the footage will depend on the type of incident, according to the release.

City Council members in September approved a $762,000 contract with Axon Enterprise, Inc. for 90 cameras and a variety of accessories and software licenses needed to implement the program. The council last month approved the policies, procedures and rules for use of the new cameras.

From the news release:

Body-worn camera footage is a useful tool in providing clarity about police interactions. However, camera footage cannot always provide all the information needed to make a fair and accurate judgement about police activity. Videos are just part of a thorough investigation, and the footage does not replace a thorough investigation.

Rules of activation of body-worn cameras

All uniformed officers are required to wear a camera, and to activate it to record most contacts with citizens while on duty. The following rules for activation were approved by the Fayetteville City Council on Nov. 21, 2017.

» Click to see the full policies, procedures and rules for body-worn cameras