PINELLAS PARK, Fla. – The Pinellas Park Police Department has started a trial and evaluation period for body-worn cameras (BWC). On Tuesday, officers and supervisors were trained by Axon staff on the use of the Axon Body 3.
“Our uniformed personnel have the most interaction with members of the public”, said Chief Michael Haworth. “As a profession, we have seen an increased call for transparency due to the perceived lack of trust of law enforcement. We are aware and sensitive to the requests from the public and I am confident this technology will allow us to continue to build on our work with our community”.
In partnership with Axon, Pinellas Park Police received a total of 6 test units. These units were issued to 6 officers from different sections of the agency, all in a uniformed and operational capacity. Each officer was trained to use the equipment and the policy governing the use.
“We are a professional organization that works in partnership with our community on a daily basis. “The majority of our contacts with the public are positive”, said Chief Haworth. “We have dedicated officers doing exceptional work under stressful situations. This technology is another tool that will allow us to accurately report these interactions”.
The Axon Body 3 will be worn near or in the center of the chest. The cameras have the ability to automatically activate in certain circumstances, such as when an officer removes their firearm or Taser from the holster.
Agencies that have implemented body-worn cameras have seen a reduction in use of force incidents and citizen complaints.
Chief Haworth said, “We believe these cameras will allow for our continued transparency of incidents while providing clarity for all while holding all parties accountable.”