Police officers in N. Idaho wear cameras

Published: Sunday, Sept. 2 2012 7:27 p.m. MDT

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — Patrol police in Coeur d'Alene have started wearing body cameras to record their law enforcement activities.

"It's kind of the trend across the nation," police Sgt. Christie Wood told the Coeur d'Alene Press. "I think all law enforcement are reviewing it to see how effective it can be and if it works for their agency. We feel that it does work for our agency."

Chief Wayne Longo in a statement Wednesday said the agency purchased more than 40 of the cameras that cost $875 each.

"It is our hope that the use of the Vievu cameras provides the information necessary to perform our duties efficiently and professionally," Longo said.

Wood said the agency tested several camera types the past two years before selecting the Vievu Point of View model. She said reliability, ease of use, and audio and video quality were deciding factors.

Since the 1990s, the Coeur d'Alene Police Department has used dash cameras in patrol cars. But Wood said there are times when an officer is not in view of the dash cam.

"Also, dash cams do not allow for seeing the incident through the officer's point of view," she said. "Officers are judged on their quick reactions to situations."

Wood also said the cameras offer solid evidence.

"Evidence is sometimes visual, and the best way to record it is through video recording," Wood said.

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