Every six months, D.C. police are required by law to tell city leaders how well the body camera program is working and where the snafus are. The department released that report this week.
The District has more than 3,200 assigned police body cameras latched onto officers’ uniforms and reportedly switched on.
Among what the report tracks include who’s wearing the cameras, what’s being recorded, the action taken because of the cameras, and how many Freedom of Information Act requests were received for the recordings.
According to the report, the body cameras captured more than 200,000 hours of police activity between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2020.
But, sometimes, the cameras were not on. The biggest reason why: equipment failure, which the report said the reasons of which cannot always be determined. D.C. police policy requires that officers conduct a test shot with the body camera at the beginning of their shift to ensure it is working.
During the time period included in the report, 150 internal investigations were opened for failure to turn on the body camera, 7,993 recordings were used for internal investigations, and 1,106 recordings were used to investigate external complaints.