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UNLV rolling out police body-worn camera program

Updated August 14, 2018 - 10:10 pm

UNLV Police Services will start rolling out its body-worn camera program this week.

Three officers who work at Nevada State College will begin training in the program Wednesday, UNLV Assistant Chief of Police Sandy Seda said. The training marks the first phase in a three-phase plan.

“We want to kind of go baby steps and then move forward,” Seda said.

Seda said the incremental implementation will help police keep program costs down by helping officials better determine storage and technology costs. So far, UNLV police have spent about $18,000 on the program.

The university’s Video Camera Surveillance Committee reviewed and approved the policy in May.

Seda said he thinks the cameras will bolster transparency and accountability in the department. He said he suspects the cameras will create a long-term cost savings for the institution by speeding up investigations and resolving potential civil litigation.

“The video speaks for itself,” he said.

After officers at Nevada State College train to use the cameras, officers at UNLV’s Shadow Lane campus will receive training. Patrol officers at the university’s Maryland Parkway campus will receive training in the program’s third phase. About 35 officers will be outfitted with body cameras once the program is phased in completely.

“We’re hoping to do this within the next couple of weeks,” Seda said.

The university’s police department was not required as part of Nevada’s body camera law to outfit officers with the recording devices, Seda said. The law, which went into effect last month, expands 2015 legislation that required the Nevada Highway Patrol to equip troopers with cameras.

Henderson and North Las Vegas police still are in the process of implementing body camera programs, spokesmen for each agency said Tuesday.

The Metropolitan Police Department began a body camera pilot program in 2011 amid intense public scrutiny of use-of-force policies. In May 2015, the department became one of the first large departments in the country to implement a body camera policy.

Contact Blake Apgar at bapgar@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter.

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