GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A man is taken to the hospital after police say a man attacked him under a bridge. Police say the incident is highlighting a new tool they are testing out.
Thursday around 5 p.m., several Grants Pass Department of Public Safety officers responded to Riverside Park. They say a man was punched several times by another man. Officer John Nicklason responded to the incident wearing an on-officer camera. Nicklason says from the time he pushes the record button, 30 seconds prior of the audio and video is recorded from then on.
“That was a perfect example of a good use of the on-officer camera. When I arrived, the patrol car is not in a position where I can see the group or scene or what’s going on. The camera is seeing the victim, how the victim is laying there, it’s seeing the response that he got, my interviews are all recorded,” said Nicklason.
Grants Pass police say law enforcement agencies in the U.S. spend two billion dollars a year to fight against citizen complaints on officers. They say the camera would cut down on false or unnecessary complaints.
“When people know that there’s a camera on them, they tend to act differently and they tend to act better. It also goes for the officer. If the officer knows there’s a camera on his head, and is picking up everything that he does and everything that he hears, it’s protecting the public as well,” explained Nicklason.
Nicklason hopes the test run becomes a permanent one.
“It’s a great tool. I’m pushing for it, I like it and I wear it all the time. Even when people make fun of me,” said Nicklason.