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Turlock Police officers to start wearing body cameras Thursday

"These body cameras are yet another tool our officers will use during their investigations and to further our transparency within our community."

TURLOCK, Calif. — It's been a long time coming, and finally, the Turlock Police Department's officers will be able to start wearing body cameras on Thursday.

In an announcement on Facebook, Turlock's interim Chief Miguel Pacheco said police officers would start wearing Axon body cameras to record interactions with people in the city.

"We ask for your understanding as we begin with the implementation of this new technology into our daily procedures," Pacheco said. "These body cameras are yet another tool our officers will use during their investigations and to further our transparency within our community."

Sgt. Michael Parmley explained that the body cameras would constantly be listening for gunshots and sirens for the camera to start recording when an incident occurs, and the officer might be too preoccupied to start the recording. The cameras will also turn on when an officer comes to a scene where other officers have their cameras on.

The cameras will also show video 30 seconds before it is actually told to start recording whether the officer turns it on or if it's been triggered by gunshots or sirens.

Parmley said the department has been working to get its body-worn camera program up and running for years. Officers couldn't start wearing cameras until the department's reporting system was updated. Parmley said the system was at least 18 years old because it was used before Parmley started with the department.

"We have been planning and testing for many months with our reporting systems to work seamlessly together," Pacheco said.

As part of department policy, an officer is not required to obtain consent from someone in a public place to activate a camera or in any location quote "where an officer is lawfully present."

ABC10 requested an interview with Pacheco, but we were told he did not have time and no one else would be available for interviews because of short staffing levels.

The full details of the department's body camera program and protocols can be found on its website.

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