The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has begun equipping agents and officers with body-worn cameras.
CBP has outfitted an initial group of agents and officers with the cameras and said the move is to better enhance policing practices and reinforce transparency.
“Our agents and officers serve the public and protect our borders every day with great skill and professionalism,” said Troy Miller, CBP Acting Commissioner. “Providing them with state-of-the-art technology and tools like body-worn cameras will support their work and provide greater transparency into interactions between CBP officers and agents and the public.”
CBP said the initial body-worn cameras are just the first step in broader implementation that will roll out, with approximately 6,000 cameras expected to deploy by the end of this year.
The deployment is part of the CBP's Incident-Driven Video Recording Systems program, which will record and store video and audio data. The cameras that officers and agents wear on the front of their uniforms are roughly the size of a deck of cards. Agents and officers will need to activate the camera, for it to begin saving footage from two minutes before the camera was activated.
Agents will follow protocols to understand when to activate their cameras, and footage will be retained based on the nature of a recorded incident.
"This is a significant step forward and will build upon CBP’s current utilization of other technology to investigate incidents and allegations of misconduct," said CBP in the announcement.
The cameras will be deployed first at border patrol locations in southwest and northern borders, and then by select Office of Field Operations ports of entry in the U.S.