Col. Christopher Paris, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, has announced the beginning of a pilot program designed to ensure department readiness for implementing body-worn cameras.
“The public rightfully expects their interactions with police be safe, respectful, and constitutional, and I believe the use of body-worn cameras demonstrates that the Pennsylvania State Police is committed to providing faithful and honest law enforcement services,” Paris said in the press release announcing the initiative. “In addition to providing transparency and accountability, body-worn cameras document evidence in criminal cases and present opportunities to enhance training, just like the mobile video recording cameras we began using in patrol cars two decades ago.”
Paris said patrol troopers assigned to Troop H, Carlisle will wear the cameras while on duty. As a cost reduction measure, the department uses a shared service model. Eighteen cameras allotted to Carlisle get passed between troopers during shift changes.
The 60-day trial run allows the department to determine best practices and policies and identify any needs for additional equipment or software features.
When the pilot program concludes, the department plans to implement body-worn cameras at all of its 87 patrol stations.
The department entered into a five-year contract with Arizona-based Axon to provide body-worn cameras. Carlisle was selected as the test location because its geographic area is representative of the communities served by the Pennsylvania State Police.
Additionally, the station is close to the PSP Bureau of Communications and Information Services, the bureau tasked with monitoring the pilot program, in Harrisburg.