Metro Police Launching Body Camera Program

Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) is launching a new body-worn camera program, requiring officers, sergeants and lieutenants to begin carrying body-worn cameras.

Body-worn cameras will supplement the 20,000 cameras Metro already has throughout the rail, bus and para-transit system, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). MTPD hopes the cameras will strengthen public safety and security.

The rollout will start with a group of about two dozen officers in the MTPD’s Special Response Team and Tactical Operations Unit. According to WMATA, these officers will begin carrying body-worn in late March. After the initial rollout, body-worn cameras will be deployed in each of the three MTPD districts. By the end of the summer, an estimated 315 will be trained and equipped with cameras.

MTPD Chief Michael Anzallo believes these cameras will better protect metro customers, employees and officers.

“I am confident that the new body-worn camera program will continue to build trust and confidence in the department’s work,” Anzallo said in a press release. “The research, data, and feedback we’ve gathered from similar programs in the region have provided us with important insights that will strengthen the rollout of this important safety tool and enhance the overall success of our program.”

The cameras have an internal memory that stores recorded audio and video and can attach to MTPD officers’ clothing. Recording can begin at any time. Additionally, Officers must inform individuals when they begin filming. According to WMATA, use of body-worn cameras is linked to decreases in crime, police-generated incidents and assaults on officers.

The MTPD’s Community Service Bureau will work to educate metro customers on the deployment, protocols and use of body-worn cameras. More information on the new policies is available on the WMATA website.

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