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Chief: Body cams will free up department resources

Tuesday - 5/20/2014, 1:30pm  ET

WASHINGTON - D.C. police will begin testing body cameras in the coming months, but the department has already been developing camera guidelines for some time, according to the city's police chief.

"We actually started the process a year-and-a-half ago evaluating policy. And our policy is just about complete," Chief Cathy Lanier said Tuesday on Newschannel 8.

According to Lanier, departments around the nation that have used the technology have seen a 60 to 85 percent drop in the number of complaints filed against police.

The chief tells Newschannel 8, with the help of body cams, resources that are currently used to review complaints could be directed elsewhere, making her department more effective as a whole.

"For the police officers out there who do their job every day and a lot of times are subject to complaints that are not truthful - this allows them to do their job," she said.

"No matter who you are, police or civilian, everybody acts a little bit differently when they know they're on camera."

The Metropolitan Police Department will start with a trial phase where officers will volunteer to test out various wearable cameras.

In roughly six months, the department will be ready to implement a long-term body cam system, Lanier says.

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