DALLAS — Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia has released a memo stating that Dallas law enforcement officers must now wear body cameras during all off-duty jobs.
WFAA reported the notice was sent to every police department employee on August 22. The move comes after an off-duty officer, who wasn’t wearing a body camera at the time, was involved in a shooting incident with two suspected gunmen at a Dallas club over the weekend.
“There are many instances where officers are working off-duty jobs and taking reports, affecting arrests and/or involved in use of force incidents," Garcia said in the memo. "These incidents are crucial for prosecution, transparency and for justification."
Before the change, the department said officers “may” use the body cameras at off-duty jobs, but the wording has been changed to “will” now.
“This policy was not initiated earlier only due to the fact that at the time we did not have enough body cameras for every officer and we had a cloud storage issue,” Mike Mata, the president of the Dallas Police Association union, said. “Now most, if not all, patrol officers have been issued a body camera and our media storage limitations have been increased to accommodate the increase in capacity. So in this case, it was just a matter of policy catching up to progress.”
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