Howard County Police to test body cameras

Pilot could start by summer
Posted at 4:23 PM, May 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-12 07:05:29-04

The Howard County Police Department is following in the footsteps of several other agencies in the state by beginning a months long process to decide if and what type of body cameras could work for its officers.

"We've identified two vendors that we are going to test out as part of a pilot program for body cameras in Howard County. At the conclusion of the pilot we will make a determination whether or not the committee thinks this is something we should institute as a permanent program," said department spokesperson Sherry LLewellyn.

The pilot is actually two phases.

Howard County is finalizing the details of the first test of Axon body cameras.

The department will try out two versions, the one used by Baltimore city police which is worn on the upper chest and then a second type like the model officers use in Laurel, MD; a camera that can clip on a hat or glasses.

Howard County says 10 cameras may be headed to the department and the pilot would last 45 days.

A second company will be tested in a similar trial.

Once done and with the help of a consultant form Loyola University, Howard County will determine if body cameras should be rolled out here and which model worked best for them.

"We're hopeful that the body camera pilot committee will have a recommendation by the end of the year and if they do that, we can certainly try to start implementing a more permanent program as the new year begins. But that determination still hasn't been made," Llewellyn said.