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Durham Audit Finds Police Body-Camera Compliance Problems

Body camera on police officer
Ryan Lindsay
Guns and America
The department also plans to increase training to avoid mislabeling potential evidence.

An audit has found Durham police officers uploaded body-camera footage late and sometimes mislabeled it, potentially jeopardizing evidence.

The audit found the Durham Police Department has policies, training and equipment, but it couldn’t confirm that supervisors conduct random reviews to ensure compliance, The News & Observer reported. The audit found that the body-camera program, which began in 2017, had 293,502 videos and over 50,000 hours of footage by 2020.

According to department rules, cameras must be docked to allow the footage to be uploaded "no later than the end of the officer’s next (business) day.” But when a survey asked officers how often they upload videos, 46% said that they do so daily, 18% every few days, and 3% said never. About half of the department’s sworn officers responded to the survey.

Officers are supposed to watch their video footage, file and categorize it daily, but when asked how often officers categorize their videos, 8% said they did so daily and 65% said they never do.

The audit noted that interim Police Chief Shari Montgomery agreed with the recommendations and plans to update policy by Oct. 1. Supervisors will establish a minimum number of videos per month for their reports. The department also plans to increase training to avoid mislabeling potential evidence.

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