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University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Police now wearing body cameras

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Police Department began testing body-worn cameras with a small group of officers on Wednesday, as a means of increasing safety and public confidence.

Many campus and community police departments already use body-worn cameras, including the Milwaukee and Shorewood police departments and campus police at UW-Madison, UW-La Crosse and UW-Whitewater. Cameras help officers perform their duties by recording their interactions with people during official police business and documenting evidence during investigations. Studies also have shown they improve officer and citizen behavior, reducing use-of-force and citizen complaints.

“We value our community’s trust and see this program as a positive step to build upon the good relationship the UWM Police Department already has with its community,” UWM Police Chief Joe LeMire said. “This new resource will help our officers make UWM a safe and secure environment in which to learn, live and work.”

UWM police have been using squad car cameras for more than ten years.

They will begin using body-worn cameras with six police officers and plan to expand the program to all 37 by the end of October. A demonstration table will be set up in Spaights Plaza on October 2, the first day of Campus Safety Week, to show students, employees and visitors how the cameras work. The campus community can provide feedback at listening sessions on October 2 and 4.

The department’s cameras are supplied by Axon, which has more than 200,000 cameras in use at 6,000 agencies worldwide.

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