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CPD Strives For Citywide Bodycams Near Summer's End

Photo of CPD officer with bodycam taken by Brian Bull.
Photo of CPD officer with bodycam taken by Brian Bull.

By ideastream's Brian Bull

A University of Cincinnati policeman's body camera recorded the fatal shooting of an unarmed motorist earlier this month, establishing the importance of video footage in police confrontations.  

Cleveland's Police Department is still working to implement its body cam program, but has fallen more than a month behind its initial goal.  

The goal was to outfit all Cleveland police officers with body-worn cameras by June. 

But Detective Jennifer Ciaccia of the CPD says the department is now aiming for the end of August.  She says after outfitting four out of five districts, officials decided to take some time to audit the body cam program. 

“We really had to make sure that we had all of our ducks in a row before we jumped onto another district," explains Ciaccia. "And by using the biggest district first -- the Fourth District -- to pilot everything through the audit process, we were able to ensure that we had everything set and running smoothly, and then move into the other districts.” 

Ciaccia says part of the delay is training officers to properly download and save the video.  Ultimately there will be 1500 body cams issued at a cost of at least $ 2.4 million.  And by year’s end they hope to have all sworn personnel in the CPD – from basic patrol all the way up to the Chief of Police – outfitted with the cameras.

The City and CPD are taking comments on their body cam program through an online survey.  They expect to share results by mid-August.