Body Cameras

Continued from page 1

has the authority to review other officers’ footage. The footage can’t be removed from the storage system where it is kept or copied by any other means. Officers also can’t record any off-duty activities or any personal conversations while at work.

Axton (formerly known as Taser), the camera company, provides the electronic cloud storage system where the footage is kept. Some is stored for one to two months. Footage needed for trials or other long-term use may be stored for up to two years.

Franks said the department chose cloud storage because they wouldn’t run the risk of losing footage if the computer broke. The cloud storage requires an annual fee of about $500 depending on how much storage the department needs long-term. But the department won’t need to update any equipment.

The four cameras and the first

year’s cloud storage came to a total of nearly $3,000. Franks tried to get a grant but was unable to, so the expense was built into this year’s police budget.

In the first month, Franks said the department recorded 48 incidents and chose to save two videos of arrests and car searches so they could prove proper protocol in getting consent to search the car.

Franks said the cameras are easy to use, and all officers received training. Though small, the cameras are heavy, so the biggest adjustment was getting used to having them attached to their shirts, Franks said.

Underlining his approval of the cameras, Franks said, “It’s always a ‘he said, she said’ situation” when recounting what happened on a call.

“The camera shows what actually happened.”