A select few Redmond Police Officers are currently field testing body-worn cameras on calls for service and self-initiated activities. In the coming weeks, all sworn personnel will receive their equipment and full implementation will occur.
The Redmond Police Department implemented a Body-Worn Camera (BWC) program for all sworn officers and installed dash cameras in all patrol vehicles.
In 2021, Chief Darrell Lowe petitioned City Council to allocate funding for the BWC program which includes additional staffing needed to support the program.
Policy 423: Body-Worn and In-Car Camera Systems (BWC)
Frequently Asked Questions
Why did RPD implement a Body-Worn Camera program?
The use of cameras by our sworn officers will enhance transparency in law enforcement, increase public confidence in policing, reduce complaints, deter criminal activity, help de-escalate confrontational situations, and provide additional skill development and training through incident review. It will also help with evidence collection and allow for more accurate police reports.
When will body-worn cameras be activated?
BWC will be activated on calls for service and activities including traffic stops, vehicle pursuits, suspicious vehicles and suspicious persons, arrests, vehicle searches, domestic violence, use of force, verbal confrontations, DUI investigations, crimes in progress, offenses involving weapons, and mental health contacts and welfare checks.
What about protecting people’s privacy?
Sworn personnel shall remain sensitive to the dignity of all individuals being recorded and exercise sound discretion to respect privacy by discontinuing recording whenever it reasonably appears that such privacy may outweigh any legitimate law enforcement interest in recording.
Can a person object to being recorded?
If a person objects to being recorded, the officer may elect to record the encounter despite the objection. Since conversations with police officers are not considered private under WA law, there is no requirement that an officer turns off the camera for someone who objects to having the interaction recorded.
Are there circumstances that warrant deactivating the BWC during an incident?
Yes. Sworn personnel have the discretion to keep their cameras turned off during conversations with witnesses and members of the public who wish to report or discuss criminal activity in their neighborhood. Cameras may also remain off in situations involving rape, abuse, nudity, or other sensitive matter, including recording in a medical facility.
Are officers required to advise residents they are being recorded?
Yes. During face-to-face conversations with members of the public, uniformed officers shall advise everyone present that the conversation will be recorded. Exceptions include dynamic situations where notification of activation of the BWC is not feasible or poses a safety risk.
How long will the video be retained before it is deleted?
All recordings are stored, retained, released, and deleted in accordance with state records retention and public records disclosure laws. Recordings shall be retained for a period consistent with the requirements outlined by state law, and in no event for a period less than 90 days.
How will recorded videos be used?
Recorded videos will be used to collect evidence in criminal investigations and prosecutions. Videos will assist officers with completing reports and for skill development and training.
Supervisors may conduct a review of a specific incident when there is an articulable reason justifying such a review, such as a personnel complaint, criminal investigation, pursuit report, administrative investigation, or use of force incident.