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Fairfax Police to Launch Pilot Body Camera Program

(Photo: Fairfax County Police Department)

The Fairfax Police Department will be launching a pilot body worn camera program this spring, after unanimous approval from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors this week. This pilot program will be conducted with all operational uniformed patrol officers from two district stations, Mount Vernon and Mason. It will include 230 cameras and last for three months, with the option to extend it to six months. This comes following the Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission Final Report recommendations to outfit officers with body worn cameras.

The pilot body worn camera program is designed to provide the Department with the opportunity to review police-community member encounters as they occur, as well as provide an additional degree of safety for officers as they patrol the streets. Cameras will be worn on the outside of the officer’s uniform or ballistic vest on a full-time basis to evaluate the technical merits of the software and equipment. The cameras that will be tested offer various features and mounts to capture the details of police-community member encounters without compromising the officer’s job tasks or safety. Prior to being issued the equipment, all officers will receive training.

Officers will be expected to activate the body worn camera during any law enforcement-public encounter related to a call for service, law enforcement action, subject stop, traffic stop, search or police service.