News

Smile, you’re on cops’ cameras

By Ivy Jensen

ROCHESTER and Elmore police will start wearing body-worn cameras this week as part of the Campaspe rollout.

More than 11,000 cameras will be deployed by 2020, with Campaspe next to receive them on a list that includes Rochester, Elmore, Echuca, Kyabram, Rushworth, Gunbower, Tongala and Stanhope police stations.

Campaspe general duties and highway patrol police officers of the rank of sergeant and below will be equipped with the camera on their uniform, which will be able to record video and audio footage.

Assistant Commissioner Russell Barrett said the cameras were a boost to police capabilities in the area.

‘‘The introduction of body-worn cameras is expected to deliver improved community safety, enhanced evidence gathering, increased police safety and accountability,’’ he said.

‘‘The initial pilot we conducted in April 2018 showed us that camera usage policies, infrastructure and training for police had worked well and police were comfortable using the technology within their first one or two shifts.

‘‘Given the pleasing results of their function along with the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the community, we are in the process of rolling the cameras out to more officers.’’

Officers will undertake regular training, which includes the use and functions of the body-worn camera.