Clip-On Cameras May Be Wave of the Future For Law Enforcement
Fort Worth Star-Telegram via YellowBrix
December 22, 2009
The cameras, which cost $699 to $899, are used by firefighters, private security companies and insurance adjusters.
In some area departments, motorcycle officers have video cameras mounted on their bikes, but they cost $3,000 to $5,000 each, and a few departments have reported problems with them because of exposure to heat and cold, authorities said.
In Watauga, the clip-on video cameras were first tested for a month during the summer, police said.
The city paid $800 each for the cameras and about $500 for extra hard drives for storage.
“The cameras can hold about four hours of video,” said Watauga police Sgt. Bobby Faglie, a motorcycle officer in the department. “A traffic stop takes two to three minutes, so we have plenty of space during a 10-hour shift.”
Faglie said he welcomed the department’s new tool.
“You just can’t tell what people will say to you or how they will act,” Faglie said.
“People can really get upset at times for getting a ticket.”
The cameras will capture how the motorist and officer behave, Faglie said.
In Watauga, a motorist has 30 days to file a complaint against an officer after an incident. The officers’ video is kept for three months, Benjamin said.
“For the most part, people just don’t like being on camera,” Benjamin said. “But these cameras are being used to protect the officer, the city and the motorist.”
DOMINGO RAMIREZ JR., 817-390-7763
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