MIAMI (WSVN) — Many Miami-Dade Police officers will soon be armed with body cameras.
The department held a show and tell Thursday of their new tool. "Now, we get to capture the entire incident from beginning to end," said Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez.
The body cameras will be incorporated with the Miami-Dade Police Department beginning Monday. "It captures evidence where evidence did not exist before," Perez said.
The new equipment turns on and off with a simple slide, and according to department policy, officers are required to record when involved in an official law enforcement matter.
The pictures from the body cameras are very clear and so is every word during each encounter.
Deadly encounters with police officers across the country have prompted many in the public to push for body cameras in the name of transparency. "We know that some in the community are asking for this for that reason," Perez said, "and we are going to give it to them."
It’s a tool the police director said can play a major role in clearing up questions and answering to allegations made against officers. "This will resolve the issue right off the bat," he said.
About 350 cameras will be in use by the end of June and 1,000 by the end of September. "The message to the community is you’re going to be on camera," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
But the president of the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association said it is too soon. He’s concerned the planned hours, instead of days of training isn’t enough. "I believe, in my heart, that that’s going to create more problems in the future," said PBS President John Rivera.
Director Perez, however, his plan follows the best practices of other departments across the country, and it’s time for cameras in Miami-Dade to catch all the action. He said it offers peace of mind for police and the public. "We want you to trust in everything that we do and realize that we are doing the right thing," Perez said. "This is truly for you."