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Sand Springs PD explains why bodycams work

Sand Springs police explain why body cameras work for their department. (KTUL)

SAND SPRINGS, Okla. (KTUL) -- While body cameras can't show all of the facts behind an incident, several law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma are using them to help keep officers and the public accountable.

Sand Springs Police Chief Mike Carter says his department has been using body cameras for eight years. He says every officer in the field has a body camera and says it is well worth the $20,000 a year for video storage.

"What I like to tell people is we had them long before Ferguson made them cool," Carter said.

Carter says his department works to be proactive and that started eight years ago.

"It keeps us honest, it keeps us where people are trusting of what we say, I also think it polices the citizens," Carter said.

He says they keep all body cam video for 90 days unless someone files a claim, it is used in court, or an act of force is used.

"I think it makes officers act better, I think it makes departments act better, I am a big fan of body cameras," Carter said.

He says there is a strict policy on when the body cameras need to be turned on and officers do not have the ability to delete the videos.

"We have told people that have called in and said 'I am upset about this,' we say come in and watch the video, we have had nobody take us up on that," Carter said. "And when we have watched those videos that isn't exactly what happened."

Sand Springs also has an ordinance in place that says if you file a false complaint, the police department can press charges.

"We wear body cams because that video goes everywhere that the police officer goes," Carter said.

A woman was arrested in November after crashing head on into an officer and his car. The officer get out of his car, yells stop twice and just seconds before she hits him and he car he fires two shots. All of it was caught on his body camera.

"You can see how impactful that video can be and I think our officers have come to rely on that video being there," Carter said.

Carter says they are in the process of making their department even more transparent for the public.


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