Niles police officers start releasing body cam footage on Facebook

NILES, Ohio (WYTV) – Niles residents will now have the chance to see what their police department does on a daily basis by watching firsthand body camera footage.

Niles Police will begin posting more body cam videos to the department’s Facebook page.

The body cams are about the size of a GoPro camera and clip onto officers’ uniforms.

“The video from our body cameras does allow the general public to see what our eyes see when we’re responding to calls,” Capt. John Marshall said. “It’s also a good source to see that we are doing what we were sworn to do for the public.”

Much of the department started using cameras toward the end of 2016 to help them gather evidence. Now the body cam program is fully implemented with all officers.

“Any time we’re interacting with the public, we have them on. There might be one reason or another where we have to turn them off,” Marshall said.

The cameras would be turned off for safety or privacy reasons.

Already, the footage has been able to help in several cases, such as when two people stole an ATV.

“Especially when it comes to what we might have missed and what we actually remember from an event,” Marshall said.

The videos also help in court with some pretty big cases.

“The incident of a DUI arrest that was made involving a Howland trustee, that’s on body camera video,” Marshall said.

Most of the video is treated like dash cam footage and is public record, but it takes a while for video from high-profile cases like that one to be publicly released.

Marshall said police officers are always on their best behavior in public, but the cameras make them rethink what they say when talking among themselves on a scene.