A handful of Seattle police officers hit the streets Friday with new body cameras.
The officers are assigned to the department’s East Precinct, which covers Capitol Hill and nearby neighborhoods. The officers have completed training and will now use the cameras as part of a pilot project to test two different brands of cameras over a six-month period.
Some officers will wear the cameras on the chest-area of their uniform while others will have a camera mounted on their eyeglasses.
Ultimately, a total of 12 officers will participate in the test project once they have completed training.
The city hopes every police officer will have a body camera by 2016.
Police unveiled the cameras at a news conference Thursday.
Under a new police policy, the cameras are to be turned on in specific circumstances, including when officers respond to 911 calls; during traffic stops, arrests or property seizures; when questioning suspects or witnesses; or when officers witness criminal activity. Officers are required to tell subjects they are recording “as soon as practical.”
Proponents of body cameras have long lobbied for their use as a way of ensuring police accountability.