- Associated Press - Friday, August 28, 2015

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Las Vegas police have developed rules and set a fee structure for making officer body-camera video available to the media and public, in what officials say is an effort to balance calls for transparency with privacy rights and recoup costs.

A policy announced Thursday by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department allows people who submit written requests to view recorded video in a closed room under police supervision.

Clips or copies of footage can be provided later to people who pay an up-front fee for processing and redaction of non-public information, billed at $48 per hour.

Applications to view video will be handled in three groups - the media, the general public and involved citizens who dealt directly with the officer.

“This is new territory,” said Officer Larry Hadfield, a department spokesman who has been involved in drawing up the new policy.

“We’re one of the first police departments to tackle this,” Hadfield said. “We want to be transparent, but we also have consider the privacy of the people we serve.”

Work on a policy began after nearly 200 Las Vegas police officers started wearing cameras last year as part of a pilot program paid for by the federal National Institute of Justice. Their work is being examined as part of a study looking at how the devices shape interactions between officers and the public.

The department, with about 2,400 sworn police officers, is one of the largest agencies in the nation testing the use of body-worn cameras.

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