Police Throughout the State Embracing New Technology
The next time you get pulled over for a driving too fast the police officer might have a camera pointed directly at you. The next wave of technology for officers around the country is body cameras.
There are different types of boy cameras. From ones that are built into glasses, ones clipped on the collar or chest pocket and sometimes on the gun belt. The Winfield Police Department purchased them last year and was one of the first in the state to start using them.
“The highlights here are safety and accountability, investigative tool and for training purposes and when you look at that, the community is always looking at the integrity and professionalism of the police department is based on those factors,” Winfield Police Chief John Perrine said.
That’s Winfield Police Chief John Perrine. His unit uses cameras the size of a thumb drive that they clip to the left pocket on the front of their police uniform.
Other municipalities are looking into the idea as well. Kenova Police Chief Ray Mossman is looking into it. With a small staff of policeman in the small community of Kenova he said he has the ability to do unique things. Mossman says there are different factors that he has to consider before deciding which camera system to use.
“My background is evidence and crime scene investigation and to me it’s me being able to get evidence upon you as the suspect and so I think it’s a good tool for that, because we go into court and raise our right hand and swear and you have us at our word, but this takes that and there is no question what happened, happened,” Mossman said.
The costs range from $100 per camera to as much as $3,000, about the same price as the dash cams currently used in police cars throughout the region.
Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston said the cameras accomplish a few different things.
We’re not doing anything different than we have been through the courts and through policy and procedure, the only thing we’ve done is essentially you take the in car camera and you take it off the dashboard and you walk up to the car with it or you walk up to the call with it, that’s the only difference,” Preston said.
Other cities like Huntington, Charleston and Fayette County are also in the planning stages of implementing body cameras as well