EL PASO COUNTY — Colorado State patrol is now using body-worn cameras. They will be phased in across Colorado, starting with the southeast region of the state.
The priority message with the launch is concise. Troopers want everyone aware body-worn cameras are now recording all interactions.
The tool is used to better document trooper response to official exchanges with the public. The video and audio is evidence that can be used in court.
Colorado State Patrol leaders were looking into body-worn cameras when the 2020 state legislature passed what is sometimes referred to as the Police Reform Bill. Passage of the bill expedited the addition.
"State Patrol was investigating the use of body worn cameras before the Senate Bill came down,” said Trooper Josh Lewis, “The Senate Bill just accelerated our timeline a little bit. As a matter of fact it gave us some funding to be able to roll them out and adequately support the program."
Adding the body cameras is an $8 million investment. One of the most expensive parts is the very large amount of computer memory needed to store all the recordings for several years.
Southeast Colorado was selected for the launch because the region has a mix of metro and rural areas. It provides a wide-range of scenarios to iron out any kinks in the new system.
The next region to get the cameras is metro Denver. Trooper working there will have them by the end of October. Troopers across the state will be equipped by spring of 2023.
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