Chief Greg Fugitt said “We got the police body cameras to insure quality control when interacting with the public. If you have a complaint or dispute filed against a police officer, you now have video evidence to cover the police officer,” said Fugitt. “We first started researching and making inquiries about police body cameras in 2013 and put it in the 2014 budget, so it was a couple of year process,” said Fugitt.
“Cost was a huge factor. After reviewing several different police body cameras, we decided that WOLFCOM had the best quality police body cameras for the most reasonable price,” said Fugitt. “The WOLFCOM 3RD EYE is awesome… it does everything you need and it even has a radio mic in it. The VISIONS are great during the day but don’t have the same night vision capabilities. I wish I had ordered more 3RD EYES,” said Fugitt.
“The younger police officers were pro camera, some of the older ones were old school and thought they would be a nuisance but now they love them and there’s no problem at all… The public does not seem concerned with the police body cameras, they’re used to being recorded anyway usually with dashboard cameras, but with dashboard cameras you’re limited in your field of view if something happens out of frame…. There was a little bit of a learning curve. At first we tested two of them out, and then we developed procedures for the rest of them… So far they’ve haven’t been used in any major cases, but they have been useful with documenting some traffic stops and recording statements in the field,” said Fugett.
“Our police body camera policy is that the body camera has to go on as soon as your police lights go on. Police officers need to use the body camera anytime they make contact with the public. This helps eliminate any frivolous lawsuits and if you have an officer that is involved in misconduct, the department has the evidence of the officer doing something they’re not supposed to be doing. It’s almost like having a supervisor with each police officer,” said Fugitt.