Department officials say the change is being made in an effort to “promote accountability; increase public trust; provide supportive documentation for complaints, investigations, and prosecutions; and improve training opportunities.”
A new rule will allow the department’s officers to begin wearing the body cameras effective immediately.
But what will these body cameras be used for?
“We want to be transparent in all our dealings with the community on campus, and the body-worn cameras are going to be a major part of that,” said Jason Hinojosa, acting chief of University of Utah Police. “Whenever there is an interaction — such as a traffic stop, dealing with suspects, or talking with a pedestrian in response to a crime — then a camera would be used.”
In addition, officials addressed some concerns regarding campus community members’ privacy.
“We want to clarify that officers will not be recording citizen contacts, such as special events or a community outreach activity,” said Hinojosa. “Body-worn cameras will be utilized primarily to document incident responses, and recordings will be stored in a secured, cloud-based system. Only the officer who recorded the footage and their supervisors will be able to view the recordings, and a record of all viewings will be kept.”
To read the university’s full announcement, click here