Prince William Co. police to test body-worn cameras

WASHINGTON — Several officers in the Prince William County Police Department will sport body-worn cameras beginning next week.

The department plans to send 30 officers out with body-worn cameras in a pilot project to learn about the cameras and how to integrate them into officers’ day-to-day operations.

“These body-worn cameras are something other departments around the nation are going to, and we are exploring them to possibly deploy here,” said the county’s police Sgt. Johnathan Perok.

The program is funded by the board of supervisors and was given the green light for testing after a committee — which consisted of community members — helped develop a policy to govern how the cameras should be used.

“They’re going to be used in real world scenarios; the officers are going to be filming real world encounters with citizens,” Perok said.

Perok added that adapting to body camera use will require a culture change for officers, but it’s a change officers are ready to see.

After 60 days, the department will share what it has learned about using the cameras in the field with the board of supervisors. The county leaders will then decide if the program should be adopted by the department.

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