HOUSTON, TX – Houston police want to put more eyes on the streets. These blue eyes won’t blink, but they will see life from an officer’s point of view.
Houston police chief Charles McClelland says he wants to put digital cameras on 100 of his officers by next summer as part of a pilot project.
‘This is where policing is going in the future, he said at a news conference this week. ‘There’s over 75 law enforcement agencies in the state of Texas that deploy this type of technology. And just about every law enforcement agency across the nation have some of this technology.’
McClelland says deploying these one-eyed, hi-tech partners should reduce the number of frivolous citizen complaints against his officers.
‘This is something that can make a difference when officers are complained on. We don’t have to spend resources to investigate frivolous complaints. Sometimes when people make complaints and they see themselves on video they drop their complaint.’
Nine officers have been wearing cameras for the past year as part of initial real-life evaluations.
The chief didn’t say it, but these cameras will also be a big help when investigating shootings between cops and robbers, and when officers end up killing unarmed civilians, which McClelland also talked about.
‘These life and death decisions are made in a matter of milliseconds, and sometimes seconds, you know, and we consider all life precious in the Houston Police Department, whether that’s ours or someone else.’
Cops wearing cameras may not stop a bullet, but they may give us a better idea of what life is like on the streets of Houston.