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University of Utah officers now equipped with body cameras

University of Utah police officers are now equipped with body cameras.

University of Utah police officers are now equipped with body cameras. (Shutterstock)



SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah Police Department is the latest law enforcement agency in the state to start using body cameras.

The university announced Wednesday that as of mid-July, nearly all of its state certified officers have been equipped with a body camera. Any officer or detective responding to a call will have one, university spokesman Chris Nelson said.

"Sergeants and lieutenants may use them when in uniform and at special events, like football games and concerts," the school added in a prepared statement.

There are approximately 40 officers in the department who are currently certified by Peace Officer Standards and Training, the agency that gives certification to officers statewide.

While the use of body cameras has become standard for many law enforcement agencies in Utah, Nelson said the university wanted to make sure that students' privacy was balanced with the best law enforcement practices before giving the program a thumbs up.

"We want to clarify that officers will not be recording citizen contacts, such as special events or a community outreach activity," acting Chief Jason Hinojosa said in a statement. "Body-worn cameras will be utilized primarily to document incident responses and recordings will be stored in a secured, cloud-based system."

Officers will only activate their cameras "when responding to calls for service or having public interactions regarding a law enforcement investigation or a possible criminal activity," the school stated.

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