Carlisle officers using body cams, but Pennsylvania law could limit their use

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CARLISLE, Pa. -- Carlisle Police is one of the latest departments to use body cams.

Currently, the force is in test mode as it tries out two different types of cameras.

The department is testing one body cam worn as eyeglasses, another worn on the chest, but a pennsylvania law dictates how and when the devices may be used.

The devices give Carlisle police officers a chance to try out a new way to keep an eye on crime.

Carlisle Police Officer Joe Rucinsky said "we'll record incidents, traffic stops, any kind of disturbance, any kind of confrontational calls, any incident where the officer deems it necessary to use the body camera."

Officers also need to decide where to wear the body camera.

"The center worn body camera, now it doesn't get the point of view of the officer but it's stationary, offers a wide field of vision," Ofc. Rucinsky said.

Corporal Timothy Groller said "the glasses you can see a lot more, as far as your actual movements. You can get more of the scene. If you were to wear the one on your chest there, a lot of times you're punching out with your weapon, a lot of the scenario could be blocked."

Almost any encounter with an officer could be caught on video.

Lt. Steve Latshaw "it's all wide open. You have no expectation of privacy, so you're on a public street, a public place."

While people might be seen on a body cam, a Pennsylvania law could limit how much of their voice may be heard.

"The wiretap law, when somebody has an expectation of privacy, so in a residential home," Lt. Latshaw said.

"Without the homeowner's permission we can't go into the house," Ofc. Rucinsky said.

The department has only three cameras to test for now, with the goal to have enough for the entire force of 31.

"It really takes out that he said, she said atmosphere. it makes our jobs a little bit easier," Ofc. Rucinsky said.