CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Protecting police, and protecting the public. Chicopee Police will implement dash cameras in early 2016 to record all interactions with the public. Not only will they show how officers and people talk and act toward one another; the cameras will also help police respond to emergencies or crimes even faster.
“If an officer is on patrol, right now we’re in Szot Park. If he saw something that caught his attention, he can go back and replay his coming into Szot Park, to see if there was something he needs to check out,” said Chicopee Police Officer Mike Wilk.
Footage cannot be deleted; the memory stick that records what happens can only be unlocked from the camera with a key…. a key that officers don’t have access to.
Some critics of police cameras have concerns about certain scenarios where an officer might forget to press record. With these devices they’re already recording video 24/7, and when the cruiser lights go on or this button is pressed, audio is recorded as well.
Officer Wilk said the footage is going to b useful in court, especially with OUI cases; it’ll make roads safer by showing judges and juries who shouldn’t be behind the wheel.
“With this video now you’ll be able to produce it in court and it’s much more powerful than a written report. It’ll show the person unsteady, not being able to pass any of the sobriety test,” Wilk said.
Chicopee Police officers will train with this camera for the next couple of months, before the units are installed in all 20 cruisers next year.
It’s an expensive addition to the department; each camera costs $3500. It’ll be another significant expense to store all that data and hire someone to handle it.