Starting in January 2022, Sumner Police are using body-worn cameras.
Why did Sumner Police invest in a body-worn camera program?
- Trust between the public and law enforcement is key to achieving both our mission (safety and fear reduction) and our vision (setting the standard of excellence).
- Transparency is a key foundation of trust. The public’s expectations that police actions be recorded is increasing. In fact, some communities/groups have demanded it.
- Fact is, nearly everyone has a camera/phone at their ready and the recording of police activity/interactions is increasing and being shared with media outlets. If we don’t have our own video, from the officers’ perspective, it may be difficult to rebut or defend public perception and the officer’s legitimate actions.
- Broad studies have found that the use of body cameras by police has led to a significant decrease in both citizen complaints and officer use of force rates.
- Aids in prosecution of criminal cases. Studies have found a 20% increase in prosecution rates (guilty pleas) where video evidence was available.
- Increase in transparency and the ability to protect and defend officers from false claims and the city in potential litigation.
Want to learn more?
Also, you may want to watch Chief Moericke’s presentation about this program to Council at the Study Session on March 8, 2021.