POLICE Department

Mayor, Acting Police Chief Launch New Body-Worn Camera Program


April 14, 2016 - Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Acting Police Chief Martha I. Montalvo today (April 14) announced the much-anticipated deployment of the Body-Worn Camera Program to officers of the Houston Police Department.  
 
Officers from the HPD Central Patrol Division received their body-worn cameras and training on the operations.  Photos of today's deployment are attached to this news release.  Sample body-worn camera videos, provided by the camera vendor Watch Guard, can be viewed at https://youtu.be/DY2sAILyC9s  

The deployment of 4,100 body-worn cameras to HPD officers will roll out department-wide over the next 12 to 18 months. 
Since distribution and testing of 100 body-worn cameras during a pilot program in December 2013, HPD has recognized the benefits of using the cameras to continue working cooperatively with the public to prevent crime and provide a safe environment.  The cameras also help in fostering transparency and accountability, which in turn helps improve community relations and strengthen public trust.  

“This is an exciting day for Houston and the Houston Police Department.  Today we begin the process of becoming the largest city to deploy body cameras for all of our uniformed officers," said Mayor Turner.  "These cameras can be beneficial for our officers and for the public.  No longer is it he said, she said.  Just like the automatic replay in sports, we are going to depend on these cameras as evidence of what really happened," Mayor Turner added.  

Acting Police Chief Montalvo said, “The Houston Police Department has always viewed technology as a force multiplier.  We anticipate the body worn cameras will foster accountability and help to improve public trust.  The deployment of the cameras will begin at Central Patrol and, upon completion, will be the largest implementation of body cameras by a police agency in the country."     

Citizens can access the HPD policy at http://www.houstontx.gov/police/body_cameras/index.htm
HPD expects to be the first large-city police force in North America to equip the entire uniform force with body-worn cameras.  

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For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.