By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
MELVINDALE – Police will receive body camera software updates and new in-car video recording systems that automatically download from police vehicles parked near the station to a server, using wireless Internet technology.
At the Nov. 1 Public Safety Commission meeting Police Lt. Dan Jones said the supplier is addressing body camera software concerns, and police body cameras should be operation in about two weeks, as soon as downloading issues are addressed.
Jones said a new antenna lets the in-car video systems automatically and efficiently download when a police vehicle is parked near the station, and video is automatically stored for review when needed.
Jones said video will be stored for six months or more.
“If need be, at any given time, when an incident, whether it be drunk driving or an altercation with a citizen, they can download it either on a disc or thumb drive and keep it forever,” Jones said. “Part of the policy is where if we are going to need any of the video for evidence later on down the line, it will be safe.”
Police Chief John Allen developed a policy for the body cameras, and revised an existing policy for the in-car video systems, which the Public Safety Commission unanimously adopted.
Jones said the department has six or seven body cams, which will be worn by officers in the field. They use download devices that double as chargers inside the station.
“When the officer goes out on patrol, he’ll be required to wear it, and then follow the guidelines as far as he’s in contact,” Jones said.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)