FORT RECOVERY, Ohio, October 22, 2019 ─ The Fort Recovery Police Department currently has 4 officers wearing body cameras and Chief of Police Jared Laux says these devices are a beneficial tool.
According to Chief Laux, they decided to purchase body cameras because “it was the growing trend and it seemed like it would be a beneficial thing to the department having that extra security as far as what was actually said or done.” He also claims none of his officers were against it. “I didn’t get any kickback or push back at all from them.”
Jared says “I like the size and the weight on them [Vision Body Cameras]. The fact that you pre-record. I also like the fact that they didn’t have the infrared on them but they did have the LED flashlight function, cause I don’t want a camera seeing more than I can see. Infrared is actually a deal-breaker for me.”
The Fort Recovery Police Department uses the WOLFCOM Evidence Management System (WEMS). According to Chief Laux, “I like that so far. I can’t say I have a favorite feature but maybe the retention. The retention schedule, I like having that ability so I don’t go in and purge our records per our retention schedule. So I do like that. I know that’s becoming a common thing but I think when we looked at them, it wasn’t as common everywhere.” What Jared is referring to is the ability the WEMS has to customize the retention period according to different file classifications. This feature automatically purges files after a certain amount of time, making sure the server is never cluttered with old files.
According to the Chief of Police, body cameras have helped his department in many situations. “Definitely some of the ‘he said, she said’, nothing serious, but definitely has given that ability to playback for someone and go ‘this is what was actually said’ and they’ll correct themselves.”
When asked how they obtained funds for their body camera program, Chief Laux said “we actually just were able to build that into our budget for the initial purchase. We don’t use in-car cameras or anything like that, never had, this is probably the third body cameras that we’ve bought now. We decided that they were beneficial and wanted to go with something more durable and something that had a package like what you guys can offer”