GPD to get new upgraded body cameras with advanced accountability features

Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 6:57 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Gainesville police will be getting a 3 million dollar upgrade to their body cameras, a price to be paid over the course of 5 years. We’ll show you what those upgrades will include and the reasons behind the purchase.

One aspect of the newer cameras will be a better placed on/off button which won't be as easy to accidentally push.

GPD Chief Inspector Jorge Campos said, " it's easy in a dynamic situation in a fight or scuffle for the camera to get turned off inadvertently so Axon heard those concerns and changed this in the next version. Now it's not as easy to turn the camera off in that situation."

Currently, GPD has 107 cameras which will be turned in for credit and they'll get more than 300 which will be for all officers and even service technicians. Advocates say more body cameras mean more much-needed accountability.

Kali Blount is a community Advocate who said, "that has made all the difference, black people have known the abuses we face from police since the 1870s but now that we have pictures the whole of society is saying oh it's real.."

TV20's Landon Harrar reported, "these new cameras will automatically turn themselves on and start recording as well as any other body camera within a 30-foot radius anytime an officer takes his taser out and charges it to be used, anytime they turn on the blue lights in their cruisers or anytime they take the gun out of their holster."

Both inspector Campos and Blount say they’re looking forward to using available police video as proof in court instead of cop versus citizen testimonies.

Campos explained, “instead of it being one person’s word against the other about what happened in a situation we have a recording we can go back to which is again unbiased. We can show exactly what happened when allegations come up that our officers did or did not do something that is alleged.”

Still, now that every officer and technician will have a camera on their person Blount says they need to be on and at all times.”Turning it off should equal clocking out period. Turn off the camera, off duty that’s it.”

All recorded video is sent directly to the manufacturer’s servers in the cloud when the camera is plugged in to charge after an officer’s shift.

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