EPD Set To Launch Bodycam Initiative In July

Jun 21, 2017

Starting next month, Eugene police officers will wear bodycams while on duty.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports. 

The Axon/Taser body-worm video camera.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

The EPD has purchased 162 camera systems from Axon/Taser, at a contract nearing half a million dollars. 

“You push it twice, and it vibrates…there's a red light...” 

EDP Officer Sean Dillon, wearing a body cam.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Officer Sean Dillon demonstrates how the bodycam works.  It’s roughly the size of a pager and is clipped to his chest. 

“It’s definitely going to be an upgrade in our ability to explain what’s going on, and then show people what’s going on.”

The EPD explored bodycams back in 2013.  The consensus was that they elevated video evidence past dash-mounted cameras. 

Dillon says it also increases transparency and accountability for both officers and those they encounter.

“That’s one of the benefits is that you tell people we’re being recorded on body camera, then they’re going to know this is permanent, public record, and so we’re hoping that people do take that into effect when we’re contacting them.” 

Bodycam footage will be available through a standard public records request.  Eugene is the only Oregon city besides Beaverton to receive a Justice Department grant for the bodycams.  

WEB EXTRA: SEE EPD FOOTAGE SHOT ON A BODYCAM:

Click here to see EPD Officer Sean Dillon demonstrate how the Axon/Taser bodycam works. 

Copyright 2017, KLCC.