Montgomery Co. police see benefits, learn lessons from body cameras

Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger talks with a woman at a community event. (WTOP/Dennis Foley)

CHEVY CHASE, Md. — Following the full rollout of body-worn cameras by Montgomery County police, officials say they are seeing plenty of benefits and are still doing some learning.

“It’s been an adjustment, certainly for old cops like me,” Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger told WTOP. He almost forgot about the camera when he made a traffic stop this past weekend.

“I got out of the car and I had already started talking to the man and then remembered ‘Oh, I’ve got to turn this on.’”

But since the department began testing the cameras last year, Manger said it has been a positive experience.

“The cameras are overall very much a net positive for the community and for police,” Manger said. The pilot program was expanded over the summer to now include every officer in the county.

“My cops have learned very quickly that it can be their best friend when they deal with a volatile situation. People are able to see what we are dealing with, some of the challenges we are dealing with. They are saying that my cops are displaying incredible patience, incredible tolerance for people that are not very nice to them.”

Although there has been a recent rekindling of violence against police across the country, interacting with unkind people is not anything new for officers.

“That’s the nature of this job,” the police chief said. “I’ve been a cop for 40 years. It’s been like that for 40 years.”

Follow @WTOP on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

© 2016 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.

Advertiser Content