The federal monitor overseeing Seattle police reforms is endorsing the use of body cameras by officers, calling them a key tool for “accountability and transparency.”

“The time for permanent use of on-officer cameras by all SPD officers is now,” the monitor, Merrick Bobb, writes in the fifth semiannual report since the city entered into a 2012 consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department to curtail excessive force and biased policing.

His strong support for body cameras, contained in the 47-page report made public Monday, comes at a time then the department confirms that it plans to shift from a small pilot program to departmentwide use of the cameras by some 640 patrol officers, the Seattle Times reports.

While not a “silver bullet,” Bobb writes, studies show body cameras substantially reduce use of force and citizen complaints

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