UA to add body cameras for police starting today

FAYETTEVILLE -- University police will begin wearing body cameras today at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, Capt. Gary Crain said.

"If everything goes smoothly ... they'll just continue to wear them," Crain said.

Thousands of visitors will be on campus for the Razorbacks' football game against Auburn. Crain said officers have received training in how to charge the cameras and how to save the video onto a computer server.

"The cameras are very noticeable on the front of the uniform," Crain said. Officers may also use an eyeglasses mount for a camera.

Crain said several officers working today will be equipped with cameras, but added that he wasn't sure exactly how many will have fully charged units ready to go. The department has purchased 40 cameras, Crain has said, with an estimated cost of roughly $20,000.

Police expect to finalize a special policy next week on camera usage and when cameras might be turned off to address privacy issues, Crain said. Until then, officers will follow the same policy in place for cameras mounted on police vehicles.

Campus police at Arkansas State University-Jonesboro, the University of Central Arkansas and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock are among law enforcement agencies that use body cameras.

Metro on 10/24/2015

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