- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) - Some Riley County police will begin testing body cameras as part of a pilot program that will be evaluated after a year, according to police officials.

Capt. Tim Hegarty said police will start testing the 11 cameras on Nov. 5. Various Aggieville officers, including bicycle officers and road officers from each of the department’s three shifts, will wear the cameras on their heads. The footage from the cameras will be uploaded at the end of every shift.

The department has paid nearly $6,000 to use the cameras for five years. If the pilot program succeeds, the body cameras could replace dash cameras on patrol cars, Hegarty told the Riley County law board on Monday, according to The Manhattan Mercury (http://bit.ly/1wnuCtT ).

Hegarty said one of the current drawbacks of the cameras is that officers have to turn them on manually.

The cameras cannot be turned on remotely without the officers’ knowledge and that’s the way it should be, Hegarty said.

“I think we need to be able to trust our officers,” Hegarty said. They “have adequate training and there are protocols in place to audit the proper use of these.”

Tests will be run every month to ensure that the cameras are being turned on when they should be and to make sure evidence is being marked properly, he said.

“So we recognize the need to ensure officer accountability and we’ve got those procedures in place,” Hegarty said.

He said the department will begin a public awareness campaign about the cameras next week.

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Information from: The Manhattan (Kan.) Mercury, http://www.themercury.com

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