Hawai‘i police to equip 40 sergeants with body-worn cameras
Hawai‘i Police Department will equip more of its officers with body-worn cameras starting Thursday.
Forty patrol sergeants will be outfitted with the Axon Body 2 camera — the same used by patrol officers since late 2020 — with no additional budgetary costs. Hawai‘i County was the last in the state to equip its law enforcement with body-worn cameras. Community policing and traffic enforcement officers were first to wear start wearing them in 2020.
Sergeants will activate the cameras when they have contact with the public, according to HPD. They will stop the recording once they are done with that incident. Patrol sergeants will use their discretion in instances where a victim requests not to be on camera and may turn it off if asked. However, if the situation requires their taking law enforcement action, the camera will remain on.
“The Hawai‘i Police Department uses body cameras as a means by which real time evidence and activity can be captured in an environment that cannot be duplicated again,” HPD stated in a news release Monday. “It is vital to the law enforcement objective that real time video evidence be captured and utilized in police activities and body cameras are an acceptable means to attain this goal.”
According to HPD, the Axon Body 2 camera is used by most law enforcement agencies around the nation. Recordings from the cameras can be used to demonstrate transparency to the public, document statements, observations, and behaviors by both law enforcement and the public.
If a member of the public is involved in an incident and wants a copy of the footage the officer took during that encounter, they can submit a formal request to the police chief’s office.