Campus Police Outfitted With Body Cameras for Increased Transparency
The Frostburg State University Police Department has been outfitted with body-worn cameras (BWCs) and is currently utilizing the equipment in their daily operations. The adoption of the cameras is the result of a voluntary decision made by the department. The cameras arrive to the force in the midst of a national conversation concerning policy accountability and procedures.
Police Chief Cynthia Smith stated of the cameras:
We are excited to have our Body Worn Cameras deployed. While this technology will never be able to provide all the answers, when questions arise, the cameras will provide some information from the officer’s perspective. The cameras will also provide visual and audible documentation of crime scenes. By embracing Body Worn Camera technology, we are providing our community an additional level of transparency and accountability, which are critical to building and maintaining our relationship with the community.
Officers are to wear the cameras while on duty. The devices are switched on with a simple switch of a lens cover which triggers the device to record. Policy demands that officers are required to inform subjects that they are being recorded unless the situation demands the officer to act immediately. Officers do not, however, operate the cameras in cases in which nudity or sexual violence is involved. Data from the cameras is unloaded at the current police facility on the University Drive nightly. Currently, the force is utilizing two camera models, the Vie Vu LE3 and the Vie Vu LE4. Differences between the models are purely aesthetic.
Frostburg City Police is not known to utilize body-worn cameras. Requests for information from the department have been unanswered at press time.