Body Camera

LaFayette police have added military grade body cameras to their uniforms, as seen on Student Resource Officer Sgt. Ryan Wilson.

LaFayette police now have a high-tech addition to their uniforms: body cameras.

The military-grade body camera technology, which is made by the Watch Guard Co., is quite durable. It can be fully submerged in water, or run over by a car and is very reliable during foot pursuits. The camera runs through the internet and can be downloaded into the “cloud.”

“It helps with officer safety with maintaining professional standards and it’s a good training tool as well,” Police Chief Bengie Clift said.

Each in-car dash camera costs $5,000. The body cameras were purchased for $1,250 each. The in-car dash cameras are limited to where the car is located, and the body camera is attached to the officer’s uniform and travels with the officer.

Complaints from the community have gone down since body cameras have been added to the police officer’s day-to-day uniform, Clift said.

Although the officers still do written witness statements, the camera itself can be used to help protect the officers and the citizens against false testimony.

The body cameras are very useful during hectic situations where memories and perspectives may be a challenge to be recalled with clarity, Clift said.

“The officers were very receptive to it. It helps them do their job better,” Clift said.

Mary Catherine O’Bryant is a reporter for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and the Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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