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CONTACT 13: LVMPD body camera policy evaluated

Posted at 5:33 PM, Aug 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-02 22:34:42-04
Many police departments around the country are having their officers wear body cameras -- including here in Las Vegas.
But how and what are they doing with the video?
More cops are wearing body cameras.  They can help keep cops honest and protect police departments when they get sued. 
Sounds simple enough, but the practice is raising questions: Are cameras tools for accountability or instruments of injustice?  
A coalition of civil and human rights groups evaluated the policies for body-worn cameras in 50 police departments including the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. 
According to their report, LVMPD's privacy policy is strong, protecting crime victims and witnesses.   
They also find LVMPD makes it clear when officers are required to record video and officers must document reasons if they fail to record.   
But the report says LVMPD needs to make critical improvements in other areas. The current body camera policy is not published on LVMPD's website. And if you request to see video, the policy does not require LVMPD to let you see it. 
LVMPD says all of their policies are a matter of public record. As for seeing the body camera video, LVMPD says they are trying to strike a balance between transparency and victims' privacy.  
You can see the full evaluation on officer-worn body cameras by clicking here.