Aurora to test body cameras for animal control, code enforcement officers

The Denver Post: The city of Aurora is testing body cameras for its code enforcement and animal control officers after watching encounters with angry residents rise.

“In code enforcement, there’s a national trend of the job becoming more and more difficult with some volatile interactions with folks,” said Malcolm Hankins, the city’s director of neighborhood services. “It’s not always the most positive environment, if you will, because it’s something that will cost people time and money.”

The city announced a pilot program this week where three code enforcement officers and three animal control officers will wear body cameras for November and the early part of December. The pilot program will help Hankins and other city officials figure out how to run the program.

The city already has allocated money in its 2017 budget to equip 24 code enforcement officers and 14 animal protection officers, according to a news release.

Aurora fielded body cameras for its police officers in 2015 and 2016 with all patrol and traffic officers wearing them. And, unlike the Denver Police Department, Aurora requires its SWAT officers to wear them, and anyone assigned a camera must wear it when working off-duty security jobs.

Body camera use has spread across the nation among police departments as the public demands more accountability from those in uniform. Now, other local government agencies are seeing a benefit.

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