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Placerville police pleased with body cameras, hope to add more

A Placerville police officer wears a body camera on his collar.
A Placerville police officer wears a body camera on his collar. Placerville Police Department

After a test period proved successful, Placerville police want to expand the use of body-worn cameras.

“We are pleased with the current testing and evaluation of body-worn cameras on our patrol officers,” said Chief Scott Heller. “It puts everyone – officers and citizens alike – on their best behaviors.”

The cameras, mounted on the officers’ collars, have been worn since March in Placerville. Since then, the program has been refined, including giving officers portable tablets to view and index video in the field so they don’t need to visit a station computer terminal.

A survey of police chiefs nationwide says the main value of the cameras is to provide an accurate documentation of encounters, according to a Placerville police news release. The cameras also reduce time in court.

During testing, 150 hours of digital evidence were captured, according to Placerville police. Officers recorded crime confessions, DUI encounters and suspect apprehensions.

The Placerville cameras record audio and video. Police are seeking a grant for more body cameras to outfit each patrol officer on the force.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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