With prosecutors struggling to keep up with all the images being collected by police body cameras in Fort Collins, Larimer County plans to hire a second technician to process all the new digital evidence.
District Attorney Cliff Riedel told county commissioners Tuesday that the one person in his office now charged with sorting, verifying and labeling the camera files can't keep up with the volume, The Coloradoan newspaper reported (http://noconow.co/1OZsSSq). Riedel said an arrest for a single misdemeanor violation can lead to a gigabyte of data from all the officers involved and all those gigabytes add up to terabytes.
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He expects the problem to grow as Fort Collins begins to expand the number of officers wearing body cameras and if other county agencies also start using them. State lawmakers are also considering providing grants for the cameras.
Commissioners agreed to hire a new technician for about $54,000 a year.
Fort Collins police stress that the cameras have helped cut down on the number of use-of-force complaints. Sgt. Dean Cunningham told commissioners that the number of force complaints dropped by 100 percent in the first year downtown officers began using them and that people generally act calmer when they know the incident is being recorded. He also said the department has not had to spend as much on overtime to send officers to testify in court because fewer cases went to trial.
Information from: Fort Collins Coloradoan, http://www.coloradoan.com