- Associated Press - Thursday, September 24, 2015

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Eugene police are closer to buying about 170 body cameras thanks to a $249,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The city of Eugene must match the grant announced Wednesday in order for the department to get the cameras and space to store the recordings, The Register-Guard reported (https://is.gd/gGaUOF ).

Assistant Police Chief Karl Durr said he hopes to have most officers using body cameras by next year.

Body cameras eventually will become standard equipment for police officers everywhere, Durr said. He said the department already was discussing how to finance and deploy body-worn cameras, which cost $300 to $1,100 each, when it learned about the federal grant.

The Eugene and Beaverton police departments were the only ones in Oregon selected to receive the federal grant. In its grant application, Eugene included letters of commitment from multiple organizations, including the local chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

“We feel like the more transparency the police have, the more trust there will be in their work,” said Eric Richardson, president of the NAACP’s Eugene-Springfield chapter.

Before buying the cameras, the Police Department will develop policies that match Oregon law. House Bill 2571, passed earlier this year, mandates how video is to be handled, such as blurring faces in videos that are made public.

Department policy also will address when the cameras must be turned on and which interactions are to be recorded.

The department must also decide how to store video that’s recorded. The department can use its own physical storage or opt for cloud storage, which means that data is stored, managed and backed up over the Internet.

“There are other issues such as security that we have to take a look at,” Durr said. “The hardware has come down in price … but your true cost is your long-term storage.”

How long video will be stored, Durr said, could depend on the type of incident that’s been recorded: six months at a minimum, forever at a maximum.


Information from: The Register-Guard, https://www.registerguard.com

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