The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
The Importance of Supporting Engineering Education
The Importance of Supporting Engineering Education
February 20, 2024

In today's era of information technology, engineering plays the role of a vanguard, trying to optimize processes and develop new products, making...

FoCo police camera footage available to citizens upon request

body-worn-camera
(Photo credit: Fort Collins Police Department)

Anytime you are recorded by a body camera worn by a Fort Collins police officer, you are allowed to go in and view the footage.

“For individuals who are captured as the subject of the video, we have no problem bringing them in and showing them the video,” said Cory Christensen, deputy chief of the Fort Collins Police Department.

Ad

Fort Collins police officers are not required to wear body cameras. About half the uniformed officers wear the cameras on a volunteer basis.

“All officers that currently wear cameras are volunteers,” Christensen said. “We have more volunteers than we have cameras.”

Body cameras are manually turned on and off by police, but once recording begins, the camera goes back and saves video from 30 seconds before recording began.

Police are only required to activate the cameras in certain instances, but are advised to record every interaction with citizens.

Manual activation of cameras concerns CSU health and exercise science sophomore Shannon Duffy.

“I’m not sure it’s worth the cost since police can manually turn on and off the cameras,” Duffy said.

Duffy said the  $181,300 program could provide clarity with incidents, but since the cameras do not record all the time, she said she is skeptical that police will always activate their cameras when faced with a conflict.

Forrest Orswell, an attorney with CSU Student Legal Services, said body camera footage has proven useful in exonerating clients and getting a better plea agreement when video differs from police and witness statements.

“I’d like to see all officers wear body cameras,” Orswell said. “I like the unbiased third party at the scene.”

Ad

Orswell said he believes citizens should also record their encounters with police, not just the other way around.

“I would like to see people record police encounters on their phones,” he said. “However, they need to be careful not to interfere with police operations.”

Christensen, who is responsible for spearheading the program, said close to 3,000 videos are recorded with body cameras a month.

Footage is considered evidence and is protected under the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act. This means if a citizen unaffiliated with a crime or the media want to access footage, a request must be submitted and will be reviewed the same way other evidence requests are.

He hopes to expand the program and eventually outfit every officer with a camera because the cameras offer transparency.

More information about police body cameras can be found on the Fort Collins Police Department website.

Collegian Reporter Danny Bishop can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Hey, thanks for visiting Collegian.com!
We’d like to ask you to please disable your ad blocker when looking at our site — advertising revenue directly supports our student journalists and allows us to bring you more content like this.

Comments (0)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *