On Monday, Chief Michael Goldsmith equipped 300 officers with body-worn video cameras. The cameras will record audio and video police interactions with citizens.
"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 new cameras will record interactions with citizens such as:
• A crime or active incident (such as a fight or disturbance) in progress;
• Arrests and investigative detentions;
• Traffic stops and pursuits;
• Mental health calls or other incidents where a person is presenting an altered mental
• Events and incidents which could become confrontational or aggressive;
Digital recordings are downloaded to a secure storage server and retained for future reference. Recordings related to criminal investigations will be retained for a minimum of five years, and all other routine files are retained for 45 days.
Whenever safe and practical the officer will advise a citizen that the camera is recording. Officers are prevented from editing or deleting recordings. Supervisors will have the ability to review recordings to ensure continued professionalism, adherence to Departmental policies, and for training purposes.
The goals for implementing this 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 Police Department researched several different makes and models for more than a year before settling on the Axon model, manufactured by Taser International.
The public is welcome to call 757-664-3277 and speak to a Norfolk Police Public Information Officer about the body-worn cameras.