The Bonners Ferry Police Department is pleased to announce the recent purchase of a new video camera system for the police department. This new system includes dash cameras for the patrol vehicles as well as body cameras. The investment of approximately $26,000 will give the BFPD officers increased tools to document daily police work at a level not previously available with body cameras alone. Upgrades to the video system have been planned for several years, but had been subject to budgetary restraints.
The new camera system, as with many camera systems, does require officer action to activate and deactivate and the cameras are not continuously recording. Additionally, the new body cameras do not necessarily blink or indicate they are recording. The video footage recorded by the cameras cannot be altered or deleted absent supervisor sign off.
BFPD policy recommends the use of video systems to accurately document events, actions, conditions and statements made during citizen contacts, arrests and other critical incidents. Recording of contacts is not required by Idaho law or city policy. Videos are a valuable tool for investigation and eventual prosecution of events, but ultimately officers continue to have discretion when utilizing this tool. Technology is not infallible and all video systems are subject to some risk of human error.
The BFPD is excited to deploy the new camera system which hopefully will improve the quality of investigations and benefit the public as a whole.