TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – Toledo police tested new body-worn cameras and have decided on the Getac version.
“Officers will be able to sync and download the videos right in their vehicles. Previously they had to return to the station and the uploading process was time consuming and it kept officers off the street a lot longer than it should have.” said Toledo Police Sgt. Kellie Lenhardt.
The previously purchased batch of cameras had technical issues and wasn’t compatible with TPD’s computer system. They returned all 304 body-cams and received a full refund of around $228,000 for the equipment. The officers also had mounting issues with the cameras. Sources say during foot pursuits the cameras would fall off. Administrators say with this new batch of cameras officers will have access to help 24-7.
“We don’t have to wait until Monday at 9 a.m. We can call that 24-7 hot line and be able to have that body camera fixed immediately. We also ordered some spares which was kind of an issue with the previous ones. If an officers body camera goes down we can provide them with a spare to use.” said Sgt. Lenhardt.
Taxpayers say body-worn cameras can sometimes give a clear picture of the crime.
“Oh definitely they need to have those. it shows that they are being honest.” said Jacqueline Boursaw.
Toledo’s police chief says while the video can hold his officers accountable they sometimes don’t tell the entire story.
“Transparency is huge with the chief and with the rest of the department. These body cameras have done nothing, but help and they also hold us accountable which is important to us and the community. I think it was evident with the last officer involved shooting that there’s a lot of misinformation that comes out when officers are forced to use lethal force.” said Sgt. Lenhardt.
Police say they hope to have the Getac body-worn cameras deployed by the end of October.