- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - The Honolulu Police Department is testing out body cameras on officers as it prepares to launch a pilot program for the devices by the end of the year.

Maj. Andrew Lum told The Honolulu Star-Advertiser (https://bit.ly/2a4vh22) the department has been testing different vantage points by placing cameras on officers at eye, shoulder and chest levels. The testing also includes putting the camera-equipped officers into different scenarios and analyzing the recordings to detect obstructions and measure visibility.

Lum said the department’s pilot project, which will allow officers to wear the devices on their patrols, could begin in November. It’s expected to last three to six months.

“We have to ascertain whether or not what we have written works out in the field,” Lum recently told the Honolulu Police Commission during a presentation.

Once the pilot project is complete, the department will decide how to store the data, which could be done internally or through a third party.

Police Chief Louis Kealoha told the commission one person is needed on average to catalog and manage the data from video for every 10 officers.

“It becomes very costly,” he said. “This project is definitely going to run into the millions.”

HPD will review costs and findings from the pilot project to determine whether to adopt the technology. If it decides to implement the technology it will follow several police departments in Kauai, Maui and the Big Island that have already implemented or tested body cameras.

The Honolulu Police Department began looking into body cameras in December, Lum said, but was halted by legislation that would have negatively impacted the department’s use of the technology. He also said the department is still working to change a city law that limits the ability of officers to record in public.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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