Dilworth Police Now Armed with Body Cams
A law enforcement agency has taken a big step forward in the area of technology.
The Dilworth Police Department is the first in the metro whose officers will begin using body cameras.
Dilworth Police Chief Ty Sharpe says being a smaller department has its benefits, such as being able to afford updated technology.
Instead of paying $10,000 to update the department’s current in-car camera systems, Police Chief Sharpe had a better idea: body cameras.
“When you sit in the vehicle the cameras sits up high enough, and shoots at a panoramic graphic angle that you just don’t need that camera system in the vehicle,” said Sharpe.
The department has purchased 8-TASER Axon body cameras that its six full time officers will wear daily, and its four part time officers will rotate.
The cameras came with a price tag of nearly $7,000, which was paid by the forms of seizure money.
Police Chief Sharpe says there current in-car camera system but it only accounts for 5 to 10 percent of an officer’s daily activity.
“What we’re going to gain in this is 90 to 100 percent video of everything we do. It makes us accountable; it makes the people we deal with more accountable,” said Sharpe.
Cost is one of the main reasons why the larger agencies like the Moorhead Police Department have had to put body cameras on the back burner.
“The Moorhead Police department will ultimately migrate to these body cameras. It’s just a matter of waiting until the appropriate time. 2016 is not the year we have this budgeted for,” said Lt. Tory Jacobson of Moorhead Police.
After training and other trial and error exercises to see just how the cameras will work, Dilworth Police say officers will begin wearing them on patrols as early as mid-January.