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500 officers will have body cameras by Thanksgiving

WOORBDRIDGE — Taxpayers will begin to see their $2.7 million investment into body-worn police cameras this fall.

Prince William County Police Chief Barry Barnard said up to 500 cameras will be given to patrol officers between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.

Officers who patrol the streets, work traffic enforcement, in the K9 division, and school resource officers will all be trained to use the body-worn camera system.

“The officers are required to turn on the camera whenever they are going to have what would be described as an enforcement encounter which could lead to reasonable suspicion or probable cause that there is criminal activity occurring or that an arrest may likely result,” said Barnard.

The department’s policy requires officers to activate their camera during traffic stops, car, and foot chases while making arrests, when taking suspects to and from jail, when an officer makes a show of force, or whenever else the officer deems a body-worn camera should be activated.

The cameras won’t always be on due to a significant amount of data collected by the device when the cameras are in use.

The cameras come after a test program rolled out last fall where some officers tried multiple versions of body-worn cameras to see which ones best fit their needs. The department ultimately purchased its cameras from Axon, formerly known as the Taser Corporation.

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