SANTA PAULA, CA- The Santa Paula Police Department recently purchased 25 WOLFCOM VISION Police Body Cameras. The purchase also included 8 docking stations, WOLFCOM Management Software and Super Battery Packs which extend the camera’s battery life for 15 hours between charges.
“We want to provide high quality police body cameras at an affordable price so all law enforcement departments can utilize them. Police body cameras need to be used because they benefit the police officers as well as the citizens in the community. The use of police body cameras gives the community transparency and in return, the community will have more trust toward police officers,” said WOLFCOM CEO Tiffany Wang.
The body cameras were chosen by the officers themselves after considering, testing and comparing various police body cameras. “The WOLFCOM offered the best resolution and battery life and had higher capacity for video storage,” said Chris Thompson.
“There’s a positive reaction overall to the cameras from the officers. Necessary to assist in everyday functions and is helpful if there’s an issue or complaint against an officer, we can prove what happened. They see it as evidence that they’re doing their job correctly,” said Thompson.
Chief Steven McLean said there were some concerns at first when the decision was made to purchase the body cameras, “We’re a small department so we can’t afford the more expensive police body cameras. The WOLFCOM police body cameras are priced well and are of good quality. Our officers like the fact that they’re small. Other body cameras we looked at were big and uncomfortable, but the VISIONS are small and inconspicuous. Cops carry so much gear on them that size of the body camera is a major factor to consider,” said McLean.
“I’ve been in law enforcement 35 years, all through Rodney King and OJ… now we’re at the point we’re we have to protect ourselves. When I came on, the police officer was always given greater credibility in these situations, but that’s changed. Now with technology and cop related TV shows that showcase all this high end technology, there is a high level of expectation that every department should have video, and if you don’t there’s some suspicion by the public as to why not?” said McLean.
“At first I wasn’t a fan of the idea of police body cameras, there were a lot of concerns from officers about using them and even public concerns about privacy and fourth amendment rights.Ferguson is what really did it for me and most other law enforcement officials to convince us that they are necessary… now the only concern is “what are the guidelines?” said McLean.
“Now I think we really need them to protect ourselves from false allegations. In the next ten years, I can not imagine a police department not having body cameras. I can’t imagine why a chief wouldn’t get these cameras for their department. It’s still a work in progress and we’re still trying to figure out policy questions, but they’re an important part of our equipment now,” said McLean
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