Police began wearing body cameras recently acquired by the government to ensure their accountability during anti-crime operations, a ranking police official said Friday.
The Philippine National Police launched the program at the National Capital Region Police Office in Taguig City and planned to implement it across the country next month.
PNP director for logistics Maj. Gen. Angelito Casimiro said each police station will be provided with 16 body cameras. Eight units will be used by patrolling operatives and the rest will be for other operations.
Each device will be equipped with SIM cards to be used for a live video feed to be monitored at the PNP Command Center during police operations.
Casimiro said the cameras are waterproof and can record video for up to eight hours. He added the officers wearing them cannot interfere with its configuration, and they cannot turn these off until they go off duty.
“The Directorate for Logistics has been active in advancing its logistical programs and projects to support the operations and administration of the PNP. We should not be immobilized by the fear of this pandemic but instead we should endure and overcome as one,” said Casimiro.
“We believe that as time progressed, we should also advance with our means and methods on how to better serve the public and the country’s national police force,” he added.
The PNP purchased around 2,696 body-worn cameras and their associated systems from San Juan City-based EVI Distribution Inc.
The body cameras are set to be distributed to all police stations nationwide by the end of March and can be used by police officers starting April.
Policemen will also be trained on how to present pieces of evidence in court from the body cameras.
Casimiro pointed out that the “reconfiguration and final configuration” of the system must be done at the PNP command center in Camp Crame.
He said this proves that technological breakthroughs are helpful in the police force’s conduct of its programs and projects.
He added that body-worn camera systems are very crucial in police operations because it improves evidence collection and preservation.
“Also, it enhances police transparency and legitimacy as well as civility of police citizen encounters, which create a huge impact on our policing and in the criminal justice system as a whole,” he said.
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