WXXI AM News

Police Getting Ready to Roll Body Cameras

Jun 30, 2016

Body camera
Credit Alex Crichton

Rochester Police say training starts in July and by August, officers will be using body worn cameras.

Lt. Michael Perkowski is helping coordinate the program.

"We will be wearing the camera and we will be recording during all arrests, detention, use of  force, or any type of pursuit situations," he said. "Part of the reasons that we're going to the program is for transparency and to create better  police community relations as well as give better evidence for prosecuting our cases."

Perkowski says on virtually every 9-1-1 call, officers initally will turn on thier cameras.

And depending on the situation, officers have the option to turn it off.

The policy for the body cameras can be found at the city's website, and Police Chief Michael Ciminelli says there will be a learning curve.

"We're doing this program.  With this program, we're going from zero to 500 cameras very, very quickly. So a  lot of this is going to be learned as we go," he said.

Police Chief Michael Ciminelli discussing body cameras with fellow officers and the media

Training for officers starts in late July and August in the Clinton sections, with training each subsequent month in the Central, Goodman, Lake, Genesee and finally the special operations  section.

Every day 5 to 10 officers will be trained to use the cameras.

Perkowski says they are tamper proof, and the only way to get files off the camera is through the RPD's  docking station.

The goal is to have about 504 cameras out there by Feb. 2017.