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Body cam footage already helping some Oklahoma police departments

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ANADARKO, Okla. - A move towards transparency is proving hugely helpful for Anadarko police.

The department started using body cameras in April, and already the chief said they are squashing potentially contentious situations with the public.

The department started using the cameras after a deadly officer-involved shooting in February.

The officers involved said they shot at the victim when he charged at them with a knife.

As an investigation into the incident unfolded, Chief Tracy Roles decided body cameras would be a necessity.

"Those body-worn cameras can do well capturing the true events of what occurred," Roles said.

The department obtained a grant to buy seven body cameras and the recording program.

Now, anytime patrolling officers are on duty, the cameras are on and their words and actions recorded.

"We need to be transparent, especially in today's society. The need for transparency is very, very high," the chief said.

The chief said he's received a few complaints against officers since and, upon review of the body cam footage, the officers were shown acting correctly.

He shows us video from one instance in which a traffic stop results in the arrest of a driver. Later, a complaint was made the officer targeted the driver.

"This was not the first time this officer had dealt with that individual, and it's not the first time that individual had filed a complaint on that officer," Roles said.

But, a rewind of the footage shows the car had expired tags, the driver didn't have a license and the officer was professional.

If the officer was found to be at fault, Roles said he knows how to handle it.

"Anything from training to possible termination depending on what was going on," Roles said. "It could even go beyond that if an officer is found to be in violation of a law."

Anyone can request body camera video as long as they follow the process laid out in the Oklahoma Open Records Act.