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Capitol Police wearing body cameras in pilot program to build public trust


(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Capitol Police on Monday started wearing body-worn cameras as part of its pilot program to protect its officers and members of Congress as well as enhance public trust, its chief said.

Seventy Capitol Police officers will wear the body cameras during the 180-day program. Eleven Capitol Police cruisers will be outfitted with dashboard cameras that will automatically record if a cruiser’s emergency lights are triggered.

“I was confident that the cameras would do two things. First, they would remind the public just how challenging the law enforcement profession can be,” Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said in a news release. “Second, the cameras would also showcase the great work our cops do day in and day out. This is a great accountability tool for everyone.”

Body cameras will not be used inside buildings on the Capitol or during interactions with members of Congress, Capitol Police said, as a measure to “protect the constitutional duties of members of Congress.”

“The cameras will record public interactions requiring a police response,” Capitol Police said in the release.

Officers will inform people if they are being recorded at the beginning of an interaction, and the cameras will record video and audio when officers use firearms or tasers, Capitol Police said.

The program comes after a review of Capitol security released following the Jan. 6 attack recommended Capitol Police use body-worn cameras to improve police accountability and protect officers from false accusations.

Once the pilot program is completed, a task force including sworn and civilian supervisors in the department will use feedback to analyze the program, and Manger will send a recommendation regarding a permanent body worn camera program to congressional stakeholders.

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