Body-Worn Cameras

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department has installed dash cameras in all patrol functioning vehicles and all sworn deputies have received body-worn cameras, in accordance with department policy and training.  


The use of recorders is intended to enhance the mission of the department and promote transparency in law enforcement by accurately recording contacts between members of the department and the public.

Policy 450: Body-Worn and Vehicle Camera Recorders

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the technical specifications of the cameras sheriff’s deputies will be using?

The Axon Body 3 records at 30 frames per second in 720HD. It has a 146-degree field of view, a IP67 water resistance rating and has 12 hours of battery life.


Will all deputies, including detectives and specialty units, be required to wear a camera?

Deputies in patrol will wear them at all times. Detectives and special units will be required to wear them when going into the field to make suspect contacts or planned warrants or arrests, or anytime the member believes the device may be useful. Members assigned to our Dive Team or Swift Water Rescue Team are not required to wear a body-worn camera while actively engaged in underwater dives or water rescues.


What type of training do department members receive?

Each deputy attended a five- hour training course. They were shown how to operate the camera and how to upload recordings, and the department policy was explained.


When will deputies be required to turn their cameras on?

Deputies will be required to turn on their cameras during specific calls for service and incidents, including: domestic violence, traffic stops, custodial arrests, use of force, in-progress crimes, self-initiated activity, suspect contacts, mental health crisis, suicidal persons, searches and field interviews. Any in-person adversarial interaction should also be recorded.


Will all interactions between deputies and community members be recorded?

No. Camera activation will be dependent upon the call type and type of interaction between the deputy and the community member. A routine report (such as a burglary report) with no suspects on scene will not need to be recorded.


What happens if I don’t want/refuse to have a deputy record me?

Deputies have no duty to turn off the device during one of the required situations. There are situations where cameras will be turned off, such as calls with an attorney or for privacy considerations (i.e. locker rooms). 


How long will the video be kept/stored before it is erased?

All recordings that qualify as public records shall be retained for a period consistent with the requirements of the records retention schedule set by the Washington State Archives (no less than 90 days). 


How will the recorded videos be used and reviewed?

Recorded videos will be used for evidentiary purposes in criminal cases or internal affairs investigations.  Videos may also be used for training.  

Videos will not be randomly reviewed for disciplinary purposes. Supervisors can review recordings if there is a specific complaint, report of meritorious conduct, or for the review of a use of force incident or pursuit report.