MESA, AZ - It's a problem plaguing our police officers. More and more are finding themselves with no choice but to shoot. The gun battle in Eloy is just the latest example where the cop caught it all on tape.
The body cameras mimic exactly what the human eye can see, no better, worse, broader or narrower. That's important because if the officer sees something out of the corner of their eye, everything, including their reaction, is caught on camera.
The video from Eloy shows exactly what happened without interpretation. There's video and sound right from the officer's perspective.
In Mesa, if officers are called out, the cameras roll. But, they are not required to let you know they're recording.
Everything captured is permissible as evidence in court. We're told Mesa officers have mixed feelings about the body cameras.
The department has been using them for over a year and some feel it only adds pressure -- that everything they do is being watched. But, for others, the footage they capture justifies their actions.
"Before you couldn't have proven it either way and even though I may not have gotten in trouble for it, there's always that doubt, did it happen? Now, you have a camera to show that it didn't," explains Sgt. Tony Landato, with the Mesa Police Department.
Once the video is captured, officers can't manipulate it. It's uploaded into a system they can't access.
All 300 officers in Mesa will have a body camera within the next three years and they predict it's only a matter of time before every officer in the Valley will not only be watching, but also recording your every move.