Law enforcement in Clark County will soon be upgrading essential in-car camera equipment with the help of a federal grant.
Both offices plan to use their grant money toward updating cruiser cameras and purchasing new dash-camera systems. New cameras provide added security for law enforcement officers and the public, said Lt. Dustin White of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.
Springfield police and the sheriff’s office received $22,000 from the national Justice Assistance Grant, which will be shared between the two units. The federal JAG program is the leading source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions and awards approximately $92 million to local governments, according to the grant’s website.
“We’ve been working for several years to improve our cruiser cameras,” said Springfield Police Division Captain Michael Varner. With the grant money, Springfield police plan to purchase five new cameras, he said.
As technology has significantly evolved over the past few years, the upgrades to officers’ car cameras has been looming, White said. As digital video technology continually changes, the new cameras will make the evidence collection process smoother, he added.
“It will be easier to maintain the integrity of the video for investigations,” White said.
Shift sergeants are currently required to go to each cruiser camera with an access key to physically remove a DVD to submit into evidence, he explained. The new camera systems will wirelessly download the video into a secure computer as soon as deputies enter the vicinity of the sheriff’s office lot.
Upgrading current systems is pertinent because the cameras are an important tool that aids deputies and police with investigations, White said. The footage captured can easily be reviewed by law enforcement and the prosecution or defense in a certain case, he said.
The city applies for the JAG grant each year and will receive this year’s grant money as soon as the city manager accepts the grant on behalf of the city, Varner said.