Cops welcome body cams, survey shows


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This week's Independent features a story about how Colorado Springs Police Department officers feel about their jobs and the administration. It's not all hearts and flowers. The story is a companion piece to the main story about how crime rates are soaring, but the CSPD doesn't want the public to know about that.

The Colorado Springs Police Protective Association survey found that at least a quarter of officers don't feel supported by the command staff, including the chief, and it also included officers' sentiments about body cams, which the city has been talking about instituting for at least a year but still hasn't.

Last September, the CSPD said that all officers would be wearing the cameras by February. Well, that didn't happen, despite the funding being in place.

The most recent missive on body cams came from Lt. Howard Black on Aug. 5 via email to media:
Body Worn Camera roll-out; we are currently installing the routers that help run the system in the vehicles at Gold Hill. This is going well, however, the vendor (Utility) and Verizon have to work out a certification issue that would allow us to upload the amount of data that we need for the body cameras. This will take approximately 30 days. As a result, we have scheduled the initial roll-out of the 65 cameras at Gold Hill during the week of September 19th. Gold Hill will pilot the system for 30 days. We will then roll-out the rest of the Department.
So the department, overseen by Police Chief Pete Carey, is way behind its original time line.

Which is too bad, considering police seem to be generally supportive of them.

The survey's results:

1. Will body cams at CSPD make your job: easier (23.36 percent); more difficult (29.91 percent), or no different (46.72 percent).

2. Will body cams (officers were instructed to check all that applied):

80.9 percent — help officers if a citizen makes a complaint against them.
74 percent — reduce citizen complaints against officers.
54.6 percent — improve trust between police officers and the community.
18.2 percent — help officers provide better service to the community.
10.1 percent — improve communication between officers and supervisors.

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