EVERETT, Wash., -- The Everett Police Department may soon be only the second department in Snohomish County with body cameras.
Police Chief Dan Templeman is working with city leaders and other departments to get a body camera pilot program in place by the end of this year.
“In many of the studies and in many of the programs that have been implemented around the country, departments have seen significant decreases in things like assaults on police officers, officer use of force, and citizen complaints. It's gonna be standard issued equipment at some point,” said Chief Templeman.
The department currently has 206 officers and will start with just 10 cameras. Chief Templeman says they want to start small so they have to evaluate everything from the cost to how the video is downloaded from the devices.
“Body worn cameras are not the answer to police accountability and transparency. I think that body worn cameras augment current actions that police departments are already engaging in," said Chief Templeman.
They eventually hope to equip the entire force with the body cameras, depending on the success of the pilot program.
“I think that body worn cameras on police officers is gonna be similar to a police officer being issued a radio on their belt that it's gonna be standard issued equipment at some point,” said Chief Templeman.
The force is excited for the program and looking forward to continue strengthening ties between police and the community.
“When it comes to public trust and increasing transparency within a law enforcement agency, it has to be done through regular community policing and outreach with our residents. Those are gonna be the primary ways that we are gonna build trust with our community and be transparent. I see body worn cameras as just another resource that helps us gain additional public trust and transparency with our community,” said Chief Templeman.
They hope to have the pilot program up by fall or early winter and it will run for six months to a year.
In order to avoid any burden on taxpayers, the department hopes to have the body cameras funded through grants.