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CU Boulder police now using body-worn cameras

Agency the latest in Boulder County to outfit officers

A University of Colorado Boulder police officer’s Axon body-worn camera.

The University of Colorado Boulder Police Department has become the latest Boulder County law enforcement agency to equip officers with body-worn cameras.

The department, which had been looking at the technology for years, said the move was made for the safety of the public and officers.

“Body-worn cameras are an important tool for our officers and our community,” CU Boulder police Chief Doreen Jokerst said in a statement. “The use of these cameras strengthens both transparency and accountability for our officers. And it can also de-escalate intense situations to better ensure safety of the public and our officers.”

CU Boulder police spokesman Scott Pribble said the department worked on a soft rollout this summer so all 39 officers received training before being deployed with the Axon body cameras.

In addition to finding the right camera manufacturer, CU police said the department consulted with its Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance, the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office and American Civil Liberties Union.

“Chief Jokerst and the CU Bolder Police Department have proven that when police departments are genuinely committed to promoting police transparency and accountability and protecting privacy, they can craft exceptional police body camera policies that serve the needs of all stakeholders,” Chad Marlow, ACLU senior advocacy and policy counsel, said in a statement. “The ACLU is pleased to have been able to work with the CUPD to develop a policy that respects everyone’s rights and holds them accountable.”

Added Boulder Assistant District Attorney Ken Kupfner in a statement: “The District Attorney’s Office appreciates the opportunity to work collaboratively with CUPD on its body-worn camera policy. The result of this collaborative effort is a policy that balances privacy rights with the needs of the criminal justice system.”

Since Boulder police became the first area agency to use body-worn cameras in 2015, many other departments in the county have since followed suit. This year has also seen the Longmont and Loveland police departments roll out Axon body-worn cameras, while Lafayette has had to delay outfitting its officers due to budget concerns.