Do Cedar Rapids police officers use body cameras?

Yes, Cedar Rapids police officers are provided and trained to use body-worn cameras. According to comments made by Police Chief Wayne Jerman on June 12, 2020, “Body cameras provide both accountability of police officers and the public. They also increase transparency, improve professionalism, and can result in more peaceful civil interactions.”

Cedar Rapids PD Body Camera Policy

The Cedar Rapids Police Department Body-Worn Camera Policy was developed and reviewed by an advisory board, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Some key points of the policy include:

  • Officers must inspect and test cameras before each shift.
  • Officers who are assigned a body camera shall wear the camera for the entire work shift, including overtime and special assignments.
  • Cameras must be worn in accordance with department training.
  • Cameras must be activated to record all contacts with citizens in the performance of official duties. This includes, but is not limited to, arrests, crowd control activities, using force, investigative steps, and pat-downs.
  • Officers must document recordings with the case number, if applicable, or other information such as an individual’s name and dispatch event number.
  • Recordings must be downloaded any time a commander requests it, at the end of each shift if the officer returns to the police department, within 24 hours if there was an arrest or use of force, or at least weekly.
  • Officers may not edit or erase recordings without the prior written approval of the Police Chief or their designee.
  • Recordings must be kept on the server for at least one year. By February 2021, recordings will need to be kept for at least three years.
  • Recordings needed for court must be duplicated.

How to Get Body Camera Recordings

Civilians cannot review body camera recordings at the scene, and recordings are not public information. If you want to see body camera footage, then you must request the information in accordance with Iowa statutes. This may be complicated, and you don’t have to do it alone.

Instead, get the critical evidence that you need after an alleged incident of police brutality by contacting an Iowa police brutality lawyer for help. We would be pleased to provide you with a free consultation and to help you protect your legal rights.

Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham