Like numerous law enforcement agencies around the country, the Sheridan Police Department has launched a project to equip all patrol officers with body cameras.
“We have purchased 10 cameras and assigned them to 10 Sheridan patrol officers,” …
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“We have purchased 10 cameras and assigned them to 10 Sheridan patrol officers,” police Cmdr. Sam Realmuto said. “Our goal is to purchase cameras for all 21 patrol officers by the end of 2016.”
Officer Elizabeth McKlem began wearing a body camera about Dec. 9.
“I turn the camera on and off,” she said. “I turn the camera on when I get a call since the first 30 seconds is silent video. I then leave the camera on until I complete the call.”
She said she likes wearing a body camera because the public can now see how the officers deal with the variety of calls they get each day.
“I think it is a good addition to our equipment,” she said. “It will help remember all the details when writing reports.”
McClem's body camera was attached to the upper edge of the left pocket of her uniform shirt. It is black and not much larger than the badge she wears.
Realmuto said the cameras can record up to nine hours of video.
“When the officer completes a shift, they return to the station and place the camera into the docking stand,” he said. “The stand recharges the camera's battery and also uploads the video on the camera to cloud storage.”
The commander said Sheridan Police Chief Mark Campbell made the decision earlier this year to equip patrol officers with body cameras.
“We checked out the manufacturers and bought our cameras from Taser International, one of the major companies in the field,” Realmuto said. “We also decided to contact to store the data on the cloud through Evidence.com. I believe the cost for the cameras, licensing and storage was about $25,000. We used seized funds to pay for the project.”
Policies had to be adjusted before officers could begin wearing the cameras.
“We received assistance from the American Civil Liberties Union as we wrote the new policies regarding body cameras,” the commander said. “The goal was to have policies that protected the rights of everyone involved while making the data available to those who needed it.”
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