VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Beach Police Department got its first body cameras nearly two years ago. They were one of the last departments in our area to get the technology.
On Wednesday, city officials began an audit on the program to ensure everything is working the way it’s supposed to.
The cameras are being implemented through a four-phase process over 36 months. The department is currently in phase three with 330 cameras in action. The goal is to have 450.
We spoke with Lyndon Remias, the city auditor for Virginia Beach. His team will conduct the audit. Remias says they’re taking a hard look at the officers’ training with cameras, making sure the cameras are properly activated, and the video is properly stored and reviewed by supervisors.
“In this day and age, especially nationally and certainly in the areas where there is a lot of attention focused on law enforcement, we want to make sure that the public is protected, but we also want to make sure that our police officers are protected,” said Remias. “So it is very important to make sure the body-worn camera program is working, it’s effective, and in compliance because it benefits everybody involved.”
This will be the first audit conducted on the program. Remias says they carefully chose this time in the process to conduct the evaluation.
“It’s a perfect time to do the audit because we want to give them an assessment of where they’re at, see if they’re on pace in regards to the rollout. And if there’s any issues, you certainly want to correct those now as opposed to waiting until all the cameras have been rolled out,” explained Remias.
Remias says conducting the audit in a pandemic is not ideal but he believes they’re able to effectively work around it. He says a lot of the documentation they need will come from the cloud, making it easy to download and assess remotely.
The full audit is expected to take three to four months to complete.
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