Fort Collins police to double body camera program

Fort Collins Coloradoan: Sgt. Dean Cunningham remembers taking command of the team of Fort Collins cops that patrols Old Town nearly five years ago, a time when bar brawls were more common and body-mounted cameras were barely on anyone’s radar.

During the first shift meeting with the District 1 officers, Cunningham told his team they were going to pilot the use of pen-sized body-mounted video recording devices, a newfangled technology at the the time. In the months that followed, Cunningham’s camera captured alcohol-fueled fights and eased questions about who said what during investigations.

“It was just something that I thought was necessary,” said Cunningham, who still wears a camera.

Others thought so, too.

Fort Collins Police Services signed a five year, $885,000 contract with Taser International last month that will double the number of body-mounted cameras worn by officers in Fort Collins. Today, 60 officers are equipped with the devices, but that number will swell in coming months when nearly every uniformed officer — about 120 cops — within the 208-sworn personnel agency will wear a camera by May 1.

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