CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - After several years of testing many different body-worn cameras, the Cape Girardeau Police Department has selected a model that works best for them.
Crime analyst, Corporal Ryan Droege, said the department signed a 3-year $154,000 contract that will supply 50 'Getac' body cameras to all Cape police officers on the patrol and traffic divisions.
Droege believes the "high-end" cameras they choose are a good investment because the HD video works well in low-light, they have great storage capacity and long battery life, and the software is easy to use.
"The lights on top will activate, and let both the officer and the person know that the camera is on and running," Droege said. "There is also a little spin wheel that helps them catalog the video there on the scene and the officers all found it to be very helpful to help save them some time."
Initial research on body cameras has shown the devices reduce the number of complaints against officers.
Droege said Cape Girardeau averages about five citizen complaints per year and while they'd like to reduce that even more, they're focusing on using it as a training tool to improve efficiency during a serious crime scene or a simple traffic stop.
"It will provide a hands-on, interactive, more real-world training so everyone is operating at a higher level to help provide a better service to the community," he said.
Droege is encouraging those who are interested in learning more to attend an upcoming public meeting about the history of body cameras and how the department plans to use theirs.
Two forums are scheduled to take place in the Community Room at Police Headquarters, 2530 Maria Louise Lane.
- Thursday, May 24 starting at 7 p.m.
- Saturday, June 2 starting at 10 a.m.
There will be a short presentation on the cameras and the department's policy followed by a question and answer period.