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40 Hawaii island police sergeants to carry body-worn cameras

Peter Boylan

The Hawaii Police Department is outfitting 40 patrol sergeants with body-worn cameras in districts around the island, according to a news release.

Starting Thursday, the patrol sergeants will be wearing the Axon Body 2, the same camera used by patrol officers since the department began the program on Nov. 9, 2020. The 40 new cameras will not exceed what the department has already budgeted for the program, according to police.

The Axon Body 2 camera is used by most law enforcement agencies, including the Honolulu Police Department. All Honolulu patrol officers and traffic division officers are equipped with body-worn cameras.

“The Hawaii Police Department uses body cameras as a means by which real-time evidence and activity can be captured in an environment that cannot be duplicated again. It is vital to the law enforcement objective that real-time video evidence be captured and utilized in police activities and body cameras are an acceptable means to attain this goal,” according to a statement from Hawaii police.

Sergeants must activate the cameras when “they have contact with the public” and will cease recording when the incident concludes.

Patrol sergeants will “use their discretion in instances where a victim requests not to be on camera and may turn it off if asked,” according to the release. If the situation requires the sergeant to take “law enforcement action,” the camera will remain on.

Hawaii police keep all body-worn camera footage for at least two years or for as long as “is necessary until the case is adjudicated.”

If a member of the public is involved in an incident and wants a copy of the footage the officer took during that encounter, they can submit a formal request to the police chief’s office.

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