PARKESBURG—The Parkesburg Police are moving closer to their planned implementation of utilizing body-worn cameras on patrol.
After securing a matching-funds grant through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the police have moved forward with adopting policies and procedures that outline the technology's lawful use.
Parkesburg Police Chief Brian Sheller solicited support and input throughout the community for the program's development of policies/procedures and future roll-out.
Members from local government, clergy, civic organizations, the business community and county's criminal justice system have all participate in the development of Parkesburg's program.
Testing of different body-worn camera systems is under review. Sheller said he believes that body-worn cameras will improve public safety, provide valuable court evidence, improve officer safety and enhance the transparency of police-public interactions.
Prior to their deployment all officers will receive advanced training in the use of body worn cameras including current local, state and federal laws pertaining to their use by police.
A fall-2019 roll-out is anticipated.
According to nationwide studies, body-worn cameras often lead to a faster resolution of citizen complaints and lawsuits that allege excessive use of force and other forms of officer misconduct.
In addition, body-worn cameras often result in better transparency and accountability and thus may improve law enforcement legitimacy.
And body-worn cameras also result in higher rates of citizen compliance to officer commands during encounters and fewer complaints lodged against law enforcement.