The University of Colorado Boulder Police Department has implemented body-worn cameras for its police officers. Officers will be recording both audio and visual law enforcement interactions between themselves and citizens. Officers are expected to turn on the cameras in most interactions with the public.
In recent years, police departments across the country have found benefit in officers using the equipment to augment their reports and testimony of certain incidents. Additionally, the cameras will enable CUPD administrators to conduct periodic reviews of officer-citizen contacts to ensure high levels of service. CUPD will join the Boulder Police Department and several other law enforcement agencies across the county in deploying the cameras.
“Body-worn cameras are an important tool for our officers and our community,” said CU Boulder Chief of Police Doreen Jokerst. “The use of these cameras strengthens both transparency and accountability for our officers. And it can also de-escalate intense situations to better ensure safety of the public and our officers.”
In recent months, the department has been diligent in searching for a vendor, hiring data management personnel and writing an effective policy. CUPD sought input from the CU Boulder Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance, University Legal Counsel, Boulder County District Attorney’s Office and American Civil Liberties Union.
“Chief Jokerst and the CU Bolder Police Department have proven that when police departments are genuinely committed to promoting police transparency and accountability and protecting privacy, they can craft exceptional police body camera policies that serve the needs of all stakeholders,” said Chad Marlow, ACLU senior advocacy and policy counsel. “The ACLU is pleased to have been able to work with the CUPD to develop a policy that respects everyone’s rights and holds them accountable.”
Boulder County Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Kupfner added, “The District Attorney’s Office appreciates the opportunity to work collaboratively with CUPD on its body-worn camera policy. The result of this collaborative effort is a policy that balances privacy rights with the needs of the criminal justice system.”