ICE announces body camera pilot program – Homeland Preparedness News

ice-announces-body-camera-pilot-program-–-homeland-preparedness-news

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Tuesday it would be launching a body camera pilot program for ICE law enforcement officers in pre-planned operations.

The use of body worn cameras, the agency said, will enhance ICE operations, including at-large arrests and searches, as well as for executing search warrants and questioning individuals in the field. The agency said the cameras will increase transparency and assist in investigations into officers use of force.

“With its body worn camera pilot, ICE is making an important statement that transparency and accountability are essential components of our ability to fulfill our law enforcement mission and keep communities safe,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said. “The Department will continue to seek ways to ensure the safety and security of our workforce, our state and local partners, and the public, while at the same time building confidence with the communities we serve.”

The body camera deployment will occur in phases, the agency said, beginning with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents. Other phases will entail deployment among Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). The HSI pilot program will begin in Houston, New York City, and Newark, N.J., and will be conducted with members of the special response teams that operate as a federal Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team for the office.

Personnel participating in the pilot program will receive training on how to use the devices, as well as how to adhere to the ICE Directive outlining legal considerations, privacy, civil rights and civil liberties safeguards. The camera will be mounted on an officer’s or agent’s outerwear.

“The body worn camera pilot is an effort to increase transparency between ICE and the communities we serve, enhance officer safety, and deliver on our commitment to accountability,” Acting ICE Director Tae D. Johnson said. “Safety of both ICE personnel and the public are the primary consideration when implementing these new technologies and tools.”

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