Boise Police Department to fully equip body cameras on officers by end of the year

Posted at 11:21 AM, Jun 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-09 19:20:36-04

The Boise Police Department will be issuing 250 body cameras to officers in the coming months.

The first “wave” of 30 cameras started going to the Boise Police Department’s night team and supervisors on June 8th and will continue on June 10th of 2016.

The rest of the department will receive the cameras in phases and should be fully equipped within a year.

“Body cameras provide a tool which not only documents the great work officers do each day but improves our training, makes criminal prosecution more efficient and builds trust in the community by providing even greater transparency,” said Boise Police Chief William Bones.

The cameras have been described as always "on," with a 30-second backlog, but officers will need to double tap the camera to ensure that the footage will be saved in case of an incident. When officers activate the camera, an audio recording will also activate.

Officers will download all footage and store it on a cloud-based system at the end of their shifts.

The staggered rollout of the program will allow for the Boise Police Department’s IT department to test out data transfer and the archive system.

“The cameras worn by our officers will continue to document the professionalism our officers exhibit on a daily basis,” said Officer Kole Crofts, Boise Police Union President.

The technology is ahead of Idaho law which has no specific statutes specific to the use of body camera footage and if the public is allowed to access that footage at their will.

When asked if the footage will be available for media, or private viewership, the department responded by claiming it would boil down to a case-by-case basis.