The program is the last phase of an academic study designed to evaluate how cameras affect use of force and citizen complaints.

Share story

The Spokane police department will finish equipping all patrol officers with body cameras this month.

It’s the last phase of an academic study designed to evaluate how cameras affect use of force and citizen complaints.

Though results from the study are pending, a recent audit of the body camera pilot program shows citizens captured on video, and police officers, are overwhelmingly in favor of the cameras.

The study did find some problems with the classification and storage of camera footage. Some officers were not classifying their videos, leading them to be deleted from storage automatically after 45 days. As a result, the department has increased the minimum storage time to 365 days for unclassified videos — the same amount of time a citizen has to file a misconduct complaint against an officer.

The audit also recommended a supervisor be assigned to oversee body cameras and periodically audit whether officers are classifying footage correctly.

The body-camera program has thus far cost Spokane about $437,639, the audit says, which includes about $104,000 to purchase 220 cameras, and $198,000 for the use of Evidence.com, a video hosting site run by Taser, the company that manufactures the cameras.

Since May, about half of Spokane’s patrol force has been wearing cameras as part of an Arizona State University study designed to look at how the cameras impact use of force and citizen complaints.