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Body Cameras

Tacoma Police to Launch Body-Worn Cameras in January 2021

The implementation of police worn body cameras is expected to be completed in 2020 after a delay caused by changes to Washington State records retention rules in 2019. Body-worn cameras will be required to be worn by all uniform and patrol officers in Tacoma.


Body-Worn Cameras (BWC's) are used by law enforcement to record interactions (both audio and visual) with the community and to gather video evidence at crime scenes.


Benefits of Body-Worn Cameras

Police worn body cameras have been shown to provide several benefits, including:

  • Improve accountability
  • Improve evidentiary outcomes
  • Enhance the safety of, and improve interactions between, officers and the community 

Our Program Will Be Responsive and Transparent

We have been researching and reviewing policies, practices and technologies to ensure that Tacoma implements a system that is responsive and transparent. Our program will include policies that address:

  • Washington State Legislative requirements
  • Requirement to wear BWC
  • When to activate camera
  • When officers can review BWC footage (i.e. before writing a report)
  • When and how to download recordings
  • Who has access to recording after download
  • When supervisors can or should review footage (i.e. complaints)
  • Unauthorized use
  • Public disclosure and redaction process
  • How to protect crime victim and specifically domestic violence victims' rights


Get More Information on Our BWC Program

During the research and review period, we have also provided background and timeline information, our vendor evaluation process, how we will implement and deploy our program and things we needed to consider to the Tacoma City Council during City Council Study Sessions. Here are the recent presentations that were shared with the City Council on BWC:

Get more information about the Tacoma Police Department’s policies on our Results 253 website.