▶️ Bend Police vehicles getting their first dashcams with goal of transparency


The Bend Police Department is busy installing dashboard cameras into all of its vehicles. Soon, every officer will have a body-worn camera and every vehicle will have a camera on shift, the department said Tuesday.

The City Council approved a five-year, $679,500 contract with camera system company Axon last summer to install the cameras in Bend PD vehicles. That contract covers installation, software and video storage.

“Dash cams are great because it adds a couple more angles,” Bend Police Communications Manager Sheila Miller said. “Being able to capture additional views of incidents when you drive up to a scene, you get to see something maybe before the body cam is on. Body cams, if you’re in a scuffle, you may not be able to see because the body cams get covered up.”

Installation work is happening now and is expected to be finished by at least Wednesday, June 14.

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Axon is also the vendor for the body-worn cameras, which launched in 2021.

Miller says cost issues and the challenges of securely storing hours of video delayed the project initially. Once it was finally approved, Bend police had to order hardware, and wait for Axon’s technicians to become available to install the equipment. 

“The goal of these camera systems is to further increase the transparency of our local law enforcement actions, as well as to improve public safety, reduce crime and assist in prosecution efforts,” Bend Police said in a statement. “The camera systems serve as an effective tool for helping the public access and understand interactions between officers and community members.”

Bend PD says the cameras activate when officers start flashing their lights.

All recordings will be saved in a secure cloud. The Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office can review those recordings.


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