Local Police Department Focusing in on Body Cams

Tools

By Amy Fox

For Zeigler Police Chief Richard Dale, this camera has become an important piece of his uniform. "Anymore in today's world, you're going to need to have audio and video for DUI arrests, traffic stops, and what not."

About a year ago, the Zeigler Police Department bought six body cams for their officers since their squad cars were not equipped with cameras. "It was decided that having body cameras would be the better way to go," said Dale.

The cameras capture audio and video. With just a tap of a button officers are able to record any incident.  Dale explains, "If you have an instance immediately happen like a suspect immediately came up to you and immediately started to attack you, you tap the button and it will show the 30 seconds prior to that on why the suspect came at you."

When an officer is finished recording, they hit the button again and the clip is saved to a server back at the station. "It's a very transparent and holds accountable everything that is done on the system and it cannot be tampered with."

A year into the program, Dale says the body cameras have been beneficial for everyone. "When we have a citizen complaining about an officer, we review the video and almost every time that has happened when they realize they've been recorded they decide not to perceive with the complaint."

All of the video files are automatically archived by date and time and can be accessed at any time.

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