The Doral Police Department has equipped its officers with body cameras to record their patrols and improve the supervision of their behavior, municipal authorities say.
The department acquired about 100 body cameras in October that have been distributed to officers on patrol and traffic control duty around the city, said Rey Valdés, police spokesman. The cameras cost $117,000, paid out of federal funds.
The 11 officers stationed at public schools will not be equipped with body cameras to protect the privacy of minors, Valdés added.
“The use of this type of equipment is trending across the nation. The majority of departments in the United States are acquiring them,” Valdés told El Nuevo Herald. “It is the future of policing in our country.”
Doral Mayor Juan Carlos Bermúdez praised the introduction of the body cameras, calling it “evidence of the transparency of Doral authorities. ... People will be able to watch the behavior of our police at work.”
“The police who patrol our streets now know that their behavior will be recorded,” Valdés said.
The cameras will improve residents’ trust in police, he added, because the public will know that interactions with the police will be recorded and could be reviewed.
Valdés predicted the cameras will also reduce the number of false complaints and lawsuits filed against police. “Citizens now know that their conduct will also be recorded, and that will make people think twice before making false claims,” he said.
The Doral Police Department has about 130 members, including 115 who are detectives, officers or are assigned to daily patrols, the department said.