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Border Patrol hits pause on body camera plans

Border Patrol hits pause on body camera plans

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US Customs and Border Protection is slowing down plans to expand its use of body cameras, giving the project further review after a report said the cameras "tend to provide limited effectiveness." The commissioner of the agency, R. Gil Kerlikowske, made the announcement yesterday, saying that CBP will use the cameras for training after January while reportedly declining to lay out a more detailed timeline for their use.

Study criticized the cameras

The announcement comes as a feasibility report criticized the cameras; the year-long study determined that the cameras weren't fit to the occasionally "rugged" conditions border patrol agents must operate in. Dirt could render the cameras ineffective, and they could run out of power during weeks-long assignments in rural areas, Kerlikowske said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"We did not find technology that was that suitable for that length of time," Kerlikowske said, according to the Times. "We have to address many practical and privacy questions, as well as cost."

That may not do much to please critics who've pushed for the use of body cameras as a tool of accountability, especially as the agency is criticized for its use of force.