SAN DIEGO, CA – The San Diego Metro Transit Police recently talked about their department’s experience with WOLFCOM’s Police Body Cameras. The department purchased 50 WOLFCOM 3RD EYE Police Body Cameras for $46,250.00 in March of 2014. The purchase also included 2-year warranty’s and radio cables so the officers can utilize the camera’s radio microphone feature.
Sgt. Dave Adams of the San Diego Metro Transit Police was the officer who researched the police body cameras for his department. “The chief made the decision to get body cameras to increase officer accountability. I was assigned to conduct a month-long study to decide which cameras would fit our department best. I compared the WOLFCOM 3RD EYE police body cameras against another brand and found the WOLFCOM body camera easier to use. The WOLFCOM 3RD EYE was very police officer friendly and it was also easier to access and store the video as well,” said Adams.
“I liked that the officer can review the video right on the scene. I also liked the night vision feature, a lot of incidents happen at night and that’s a very useful feature to have. I also liked that an officer can tag the video to make clips easier to find and save in the server, so you’re not searching hours of video to find one incident,” said Adams.
“We also made the final decision based on officer feedback and opinions. Our officers like that the WOLFCOM 3RD EYE can also work as a microphone for their radios, it just has one cable that connects to the radio and a lot of times people looking at it just think it’s a microphone and have no idea it’s a camera. Another camera we tested had all these wires that went to battery packs and it was just not practical. Here the radio cable makes sense and is useful,” said Adams.
Sgt. Adams says the WOLFCOM 3RD EYES have proved very valuable since they started using them. “Absolutely, they have helped us cut back enormously on investigation time. Before, we had to spend hours interviewing multiple eyewitnesses to investigate a complaint. Now we can just open and close a case just by playing back the video. When we have cases of unfounded complaints we’re now able to resolve it immediately just by reviewing the video,” said Adams.
“There was some skepticism in the department at first when we discussed the idea of using body cameras, but we told our officers that we’re not going fishing, we just want to have them for the dream scenario of protecting the officers against false complaints, and since that’s happened, our officers are now in favor of them, it just makes sure that everyone acts like adults. Since we started using them, investigation time has gone down so it’s a win/win and everyone is happy about them”, said Adams.
“I love the fact that we can immediately review and resolve false complaints and see exactly what happened before they waste time. Now false complaints can be thrown out immediately. I think that if every police department had body cameras, they’d see the same results as us seeing a dramatic decrease in complaints”, said Adams.
“The video quality is VERY good. We set them on lower resolution for longer recording time and the quality is so good and so clear that you can’t tell the difference between that lower setting and the highest setting,” said Adams.
The departments’ police body camera policy is that officers must turn the camera on every time they have an encounter with a citizen. “Our officers deal with metro transit issues so they usually walk through the trains. Usually, they turn it on right before they get on the train and walk their route they turn it on and turn it off when they get to the end to preserve storage time, this way we’re not wasting video capturing 20 minutes of footage of someone eating a sandwich or something. It’s been a positive experience overall”, said Adams.