Princess Anne Police Using Body Cameras as New Tool - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Princess Anne Police Using Body Cameras as New Tool

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 PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- A new trend is catching on within the Princess Anne Police Department. Police Chief Scott Keller is moving forward with plans to equip all officers with body cameras.

Officer David Adams has been wearing his Axon Flex body camera for one year. Adams was part of a pilot program that put the glasses, with a camera mounted on the side, to the test. Adams now teaches his counterparts.

" With our set up, where your head turns; where you're looking is what you're going to catch a video of, “ Adams said. “From the in-car cameras, it's a little harder to see what happens up front at 10, 15, 20 feet away in the car.”

Keller said there are 12 sworn in officers in the department. Currently, six cameras have been issued.

“The cameras will only be used when they are on a police-related call, a call for service or a traffic stop.” Keller said. “ The public will be aware that the cameras are on; they[cameras] are very visible.”

The cameras are always rolling, but they don't pick up audio until the officer clicks this button twice.Adams describes one important feature about them.

 "Our actual system records the previous 30 seconds in a pre-buffer mode,” Adams said.

The chief said it is an effective method that holds everyone accountable.
 
"Not only is it protecting officers, but it protects citizens too,” he said. “ It cuts both ways. "

The magnetic cameras are light and easy to mount. Tazor is the company that makes them. Keller said Somerset County issued a Homeland Security grant that is covering the cost of the glasses, which are $599 each.

The footage is then downloaded into a private system that stores evidence.

Some people around town shared their thoughts. Harold Sterling likes the idea.

" I'm for anything that makes for great efficiency in the police department and I think this probably will," Sterling said.

Tavares Dennis does not think the body cameras will be that effective.

"I don't really think it will make a difference knowing they have cameras inside their cars," Dennis said.

Keller said every officer will be equipped with body cameras by the end of the year in Somerset County.



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