See an officer wearing a blinking red light? You're on camera

Published: Nov. 6, 2017 at 11:08 AM HST|Updated: Nov. 6, 2017 at 6:54 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some 77 Honolulu police officers are now wearing body cameras as part of a pilot program.

Over the next 30 days, the department will put the cameras to the test out on the street.

Starting Monday, officers in downtown Honolulu were equipped with personal recording devices manufactured by Axon. They're worn in the center of the chest and you'll see a red light when it's recording.

The officers are required to turn on the cameras every time they respond to a call.

"If for whatever reason they fail to turn on camera out in the field they are supposed to notify their sergeant immediately. Of course that would be a violation of policy and that will be dealt with," HPD spokesman Rade Vanic said.

All of the officers who are part of the pilot are on third watch, which runs from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. The Honolulu Police Department chose that switch because third watch officers deal with a variety of cases.

At the end of each shift, officers will turn in the video for that day.

"They'll plug it in at that time it automatically uploads the video to secure server. It takes  little while to upload. They'll have access to those videos to view. To share with detectives. the prosecutors as needed," Vanic said.

The 30-day pilot is free, and each officer also undergoes training.

HPD didn't know how much it will cost to equip all officers with body cams. One definite cost; storing the footage.

"To sustain a program like this we will need to have a substantial amount of funding each and every year that we continue this program for ongoing storage usage," Vanic added.

The pilot program was supposed to start in September, but was delayed over storage concerns and issues getting the videos to the Prosecutor's Office.

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