The DuPont Police Department will be issuing body worn cameras to all on-duty, uniformed officers on patrol.
“Prompted by current events, we’ve received an overwhelming amount of excellent questions from the public, specifically regarding police body worn cameras. In fact, there have been so many inquiries staff has not been able to answer all of them,” said Douglas Newman, Chief of Police.
“Obtaining body worn cameras for our officers has been our goal for some time. In July 2019, I instructed DPD staff to initiate a body worn camera feasibility and research project. In an effort to work within existing budgetary constraints, compounded with additional budgetary concerns related to COVID-19, the target implementation date had to be extended. However, we were cautiously optimistic to finalize this important project sometime during the summer of 2020. Over the past few weeks, working with the City Administrator, Finance Director, and the selected vendor, we have been able to identify enough savings in the existing budget to commence this effort.”
The DuPont Police Department should receive delivery of the new cameras in late July. Once received, DPD Officers will undergo training on how to operate the cameras, applicable laws, policies and expectations for use. Chief Newman says that new department policy will include language which states that DPD Officers will activate the cameras to record all contacts with citizens in the performance of their official duties, based on the circumstances. Immediately after training and policy implementation, body worn cameras will be issued for field deployment and testing.
Chief Newman added, “While we didn’t want to announce this program under these circumstances, based on the large amount of public inquiries we have received over the past week, and the concern for increased accountability within our profession, we decided to make this announcement early, and ahead of schedule. I would like to thank all DPD staff, to include Deputy Chief DeHart and his team, for their hard work on this effort. Also, my sincere thanks to the DuPont Police Officer’s Association, Mayor Frederick, our City Council, Finance Director Oaksmith, and City Administrator Takata for their support and assistance with this very important program.”