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Over 60 Surprise police officers to wear cameras

PHOENIX -- More than 60 police officers in Surprise, Ariz. will soon be equipped with on-body cameras, the city's police department said Wednesday.

"These cameras add a new level of documentation that will be very useful to officers and residents, as they capture video and audio during a traffic stop or at a crime scene in varying light and audio situations," said Surprise Police Chief Mike Frazier in a press release.

The cameras, about the size of a thumb drive, have reduced officer-related complaints in other cities. They can be affixed to an officer's shoulder, hat, sunglasses or shirt collar.

"They're small enough in size that they're not causing a significant issue with body movement and so forth," said Surprise Police Sgt. Mike Donovan, adding that the audio and video captured by the camera will aid police in prosecution.

It will cost Surprise $226,717 for 61 on-officer cameras, a warranty and space to store the video captured. A majority of the cost was paid using seized assets.

Surprise experimented with the cameras for one year before making the decision to equip all officers with cameras.

Phoenix and Mesa police also use on-officer cameras.

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