Norfolk Police officers now wearing body cameras

Posted at 3:50 PM, Feb 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-10 23:36:13-05

Norfolk, Va. - Norfolk Chief of Police Michael Goldsmith outfitted 300 Norfolk Police officers with body-worn video cameras Monday that will record audio and video interactions with citizens.

The cameras will record during traffic stops and pursuits, crimes or incidents in progress, arrests or detentions, searches, mental health calls, and events or incidents that could become aggressive or confrontational. Whenever safe and practical, officers will advise citizens that the camera is recording.

"It is my belief that these new cameras will provide increased accountability and customer service," said Police Chief Michael Goldsmith. "Every day Norfolk officers work closely with the community and these cameras will not only help us build and maintain trust but also foster positive relationships."

The recordings from the body cameras will be downloaded to a secure storage server and retained for future reference.

Officers do not have the ability to edit or delete recordings.

Recordings related to criminal investigations will be saved for a minimum of five years. All other files will be retained for 45 days.

According to a release from the department, the goals of implementing the body camera system are to:

  • Enhance public trust
  • Enhance officer safety
  • Document crime or incident scenes
  •  Improving an officer’s ability to document and review statements and actions for
    reporting purposes and criminal prosecution
  •  A tool for officer training

The public is welcome to call 757-664-3277 and speak to a Norfolk Police Public Information Officer about the body-worn cameras.