Honolulu police officers test body cameras in pilot program
HONOLULU — Honolulu police officers are wearing body cameras for 30 days as part of a pilot program.
Seventy-seven officers who patrol the downtown, Chinatown and Ala Moana neighborhoods started testing the cameras on Monday.
“From an officer’s standpoint, they’ll be able to catch exactly what they’re seeing, the public, when we get requests,” Honolulu police Capt. Rade Vanic said. “We’re hoping that the body cameras will reduce the number of complaints we have against officers, also that officers, not only officers but even the public, knowing that they’re being recorded, it could change the way that they behave,” Vanic said.
Officers are required to undergo online training provided by camera vendor Axon, as well as policy training online. The department is in the process of conducting hour-long training for camera users and four-hour training for back-end managers.
The cameras will be positioned on each officer’s chest. Policy requires the officer to turn the camera on every time he or she responds to a call. Failure to do so requires an immediate comment to a supervisor, or the officer could face repercussions.
Officers do not have to tell people they are being recorded.
“When the camera is recording, there will be lights on the camera that will show that they are being recorded,” Vanic said. “It’s safe to say that if you see a camera on an officer and you’re interacting, you’re being recorded.”
The body cameras aren’t costing the department anything yet, but officials said expanding the body camera program would be costly.
“To sustain a program like this, we need to have a substantial amount of funding each and every year to continue this program for ongoing storage issues,” Vanic said.