By Mark Abrams
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Three SEPTA police officers are now wearing body cameras attached to the microphones of their two-way radios as they patrol the transit system.
SEPTA’s police chief Thomas Nestel says the cameras will be tested during a 60-day period, giving officers the ability to collect a video and audio record of their contacts with the public.
“Tremendous benefit for us, tremendous benefit for the public. We’re experimenting,” Nestel said. “We’re seeing if it’s conducive for our environment and if it’s beneficial for transit policing in general.”
Nestel says he’s hoping the cameras will help reduce the number of complaints against officers by the public, now showing exactly what happened during an incident as opposed to having lengthy investigations based on conflicting stories.
Nestel says if the test period is a success, his department will look for grant funding and purchase cameras for regular use by officers.
He says the technology has been tested by transit police agencies in California, as well as in Pittsburgh. But he’s not sure yet whether the technology and the price are ready for prime-time.