Police in Pendleton, Oregon, to start using body cameras

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — The Pendleton Police Department in northeastern Oregon now has an extra set of eyes with them.

Each of Pendleton’s 24 sworn police officers has been equipped with body cameras that will record each call of service to which they respond, the East Oregonian reported this week.

“Certainly, the preservation of evidence in real time is something you can’t replace,” Police Chief Stuart Roberts said. “When otherwise you’re relying on officer memory and now you can have video and audio, plus having that person present to provide context, that credibility is valuable.”

The cameras are located on the officers’ left breast pocket and attached using a magnetic plate. Officers must double tap the camera to activate it when responding to a call.

The program joins Pendleton police with departments in Boardman and Hermiston as the only agencies with body cameras in Northeast Oregon.

The Pendleton program was started through a $31,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice with the city matching the funds.

All footage collected by the department will be held for a minimum of 180 days and anything that is a part of an investigation or court case will be held for an additional 30 months, officials said.

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