By Rachael Cardin

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Body-worn cameras are rolling out in many departments after a statewide requirement from the general assembly is outfitting all officers with them by July 2025.

Baltimore City and Baltimore County already have body-worn cameras on their officers and Anne Arundel County is following close behind as they train their officers how to use them.

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Sgt. Kam Cooke said, “A camera is coming to an officer near you,” as he talked about the rollout of cameras. County Executive Steuart Pittman said he thinks this will build trust between the community and police.

“The cameras have been purchased, the training is ongoing and the training will continue to September. It will be September by the time all 800 of our officers have their cameras,” he said.

Captain Herbert Hasenpusch, Commander of the Technical Services Division said the camera records 60 seconds of footage prior to activation. It will start when a patrol car activates it’s lights and sirens, and in instances where force may be used.

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“When an officer draws their firearm out of their holster a signal is sent to automatically start the camera recording and when an officer has their taser and turns a taser on, it sends a signal,” said Hasenpusch.

Cooke said officers are excited to have another tool to protect them. “It’s a great tool it’s going to be a great part of policing to further our ability to tell a story.”

There are some circumstances when the cameras can be turned off. “If it’s a victim of a crime or somebody wants to provide information to the police and want to remain anonymous, as long as the interaction is voluntary the officer has the discretion to stop the recording,” said Hasenpusch.

But once the video is captured it cannot be manipulated and is immediately stored in the cloud at the end of the officer’s shift.

The total cost for the program is $3,487,000 for the upcoming fiscal year which begins Thursday.

Answers to other frequently asked questions about the body-worn camera program can be found here: www.aacounty.org/departments/police-department/body-worn-camera-program/

Rachael Cardin