Local News

SPD's body cam program huge success, researchers say

SPOKANE, Wash. - Researchers at Arizona State University have evaluated the Spokane Police Department's body cam program and say it's a huge success.

Two years ago, there was push back from officers when they were told they had to record their contacts with citizens on camera.

However, the body cams have been welcomed by the public and it didn't take long for officers to recognize their value as well.

Even though they were statistically rare, use of force and complaints against police dropped after they started using the body cams.

The Arizona State Center for Violence Prevention said the body cams were a great investment and continue to promote trust in the Spokane Police Department.

“About 85% of the officers believe that any disadvantages of wearing the cameras are really outweighed by the advantages of wearing the cameras,” said Major Eric Olsen, Spokane Police Department. “And the nice part about that was over that amount, about 86% of the citizens supported and had desired for officers to wear cameras.”

Major Olsen said body cams are just one reason complaints and use of force incidents are down.

He said new crisis intervention and de-escalation training are also improving the department's performance.