Crime Trackers: Body cams proving to be effective for TPD - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Crime Trackers: Body cams proving to be effective for TPD

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TUCSON - Across the country, images of incidents involving police are flooding media outlets as police continue to do their jobs out on the streets.

On May 9, 2015,  officer Michael Hunt was code 3, which means with lights and sirens.  He had his dash-cam on. He was responding to a priority one call involving Naun Alvarez. It's reported Alvarez was assaulting a female and pulled a gun on her in the area of Mission Manor Park.

Hunt heard on the police radio another officer advising he had a subject running and he was pursuing him.

"The suspect was loading a gun," the officer said.

Hunt drove through the park. In the police report, he wrote, “a male subject ran in front of me and, as he passed in front of the patrol car, he extended his right arm out and pointed a handgun.”

"He thought the suspect was going to shoot him through the front windshield," Hunt said.

The officer bailed out of the vehicle and it rolled into a chain link fence.

Hunt chased the suspect and told him multiple times to drop the gun.

Alvarez refused to comply.

At one point, Alvarez turned to the officer and raised the gun towards him. The officer feared for his life and fired four or five rounds at the suspect.

Alvarez fell to the ground. At this point, the officer activated his body cam.

Another officer rushed over to give Alvarez first-aid and placed him in handcuffs.

In the video, you can hear Alvarez screaming.

"I’m dead, I’m dead," he said.

Lt. Matt Ronstadt said the body-worn cameras have proven to be effective.

“So far, we've already seen that they have proved to be beneficial in terms of collecting evidence for criminal prosecution,” said Ronstadt.

19-year-old Naun Alvarez remains in the Pima County Jail.

He's charged with one count of aggravated assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon, one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of being a prohibited possessor. 

The cameras also help with internal affairs. 

“The body worn camera has supported the reports and the statements given by our officers and helped refute  some of the complaints that have come in,” said Ronstadt.

They also help with citizens’ complaints.

“We're able to review that in internal affairs and if the body worn footage supports the allegation that's another tool that we have to hold our people accountable,” said Ronstadt.

Ronstadt believes the new technology is benefiting both law enforcement and the public they are sworn to protect and serve.

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