San Antonio City Council today will consider a proposal by the SAPD to purchase wearable cameras which will track the actions of police officers at all times, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Currently the SAPC mounts cameras on all of its patrol cars, and those cameras can record police contact with the public within camera-view of the patrol car. The images on the cameras are used in prosecution of crimes, in investigations, to deal with complaints of police misconduct, and to provide training for officers on community interaction.
No Texas cities currently has uniform mounted cameras on officers, but several, including Austin, where Officer Mike Schuletheis helped with the training.
"It's 110 degrees outside, you're sweating profusely, and if you then get into an altercation, I don't want something solid against the officer's temple," he told 1200 WOAI's Michael Board.
There are several options for uniform or officer mounted cameras. One type of camera mounted to the epaulet on the shoulder of the officer's uniform. Others are attacked to glasses or sunglasses or to the officer's ear.
"You are basically wearing a camera as part of the glasses that you wear on your head," Schuletheis said.
The cameras are all very small and very light and are made specifically for this purpose.
He points out that like Austin, San Antonio Police encourage officers to get out of their patrol cars and patrol by bicycle or on foot. The Riverwalk is a key place where officers may be away from their patrol cars, and, out of range of patrol car mounted cameras.
Schuletheis says officers like the idea of having a camera that can back up their stories.
"If allegations are made against the officer, we can now replay the video, and show what the officer observed, and why he acted the way he acted," he said.