The Bend City Council has approved a plan for the police department to buy new cameras to be placed inside its cars. It’s part of an effort to increase transparency.
Bend PD is in a five-year contract with Axon, a company that makes technology and weapons products for military, law enforcement and civilians. The total cost to the department: $679,500.
“There’s a camera that faces out from the windshield and shows what an officer would see in front of them and then there’s also a camera that faces the back seat so when we have someone detained or arrested, it will also record them during that interaction,” said Sheila Miller, communications manager for Bend Police.
The dash camera will start recording once the police lights are turned on and the 30 seconds before that will be saved without audio.
“For example, if I saw somebody run a red light. I turn on my lights. It collects the previous thirty seconds when the person ran the red light,” said Miller.
The backseat cam will record the entire time someone is detained in the car.
Bend PD says it wants to use these cameras to keep themselves accountable and to build trust between them and the community.
“What we’ve heard from the public in national media and locally over the last few years is they want to feel comfortable that what police say happened is what happened. Video provides that,” said Miller.