'Body cams' now worn by Houston police officers

By Jennifer Bauer - Reporter

HOUSTON - A powerful new weapon for both law enforcement and the people police encounter is hitting the streets of Houston.

Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland announced that 100 officers are now wearing "body cams" while out patrolling Houston's streets.  The pilot program was launched on December 9.

"I am very, very excited to have the technology out in the field," Chief McClelland said.

The pilot test is being done in five divisions of HPD: Traffic Enforcement, Special Operations, Central Patrol Division, North Division and the Crime Reduction Unit.

Chief McClelland told Local 2 this technology is a trend being implemented in several major cities; soon officers all over the country will wear cameras and they will likely replace outdated technology like dash cameras.

"There won't be any need for dash cams anymore," he said. "Over 90 percent of what police officers do does not occur in front of the police vehicle.  Many incidents, even when the officer has a dash camera in his car, are not caught on camera."

The cameras are easy to operate and record both audio and video.  Each one costs $850 but they require software and other accessories which brings the total cost per unit to $2,500.

Copyright 2013 by Click2Houston.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.