Avon police cruisers get new video technology
The camera technology is called WatchGuard 4RE and it sits in 26 Avon police vehicles.
Police in Avon are trying something new amid nationwide calls for police transparency and accountability.
While departments look to body cameras for answers, police have a different kind of cam they’re calling a game changer.
The technology is called WatchGuard 4RE and it sits in 26 Avon police vehicles.
“When we started evaluating the number of incidents we had, we felt an in-car camera system was probably the best route for us to start with,” said Deputy Chief Brian Nugent.
Nugent said it’s another step in transparency and accountability. He said the department had a less-than-ideal system in place back in 2014. The department has been working with councilmembers since 2015 to get the upgraded technology.
Today, the advanced system provides an added layer of protection for officers and the public from false allegations.
The cameras have a panoramic recording system. Officers can create a recording for certain triggers like speed, the activation of emergency lights and more.
“I think the most impressive feature that we’ve enjoyed having is the record-after-the-fact,” said Nugent.
Detectives can go back in time and recapture evidence that may not have been recorded by simply inputting the day and time frame of the incident in question.
“We can go back as far as four, five, six days ago from the patrol and that’s been very helpful for us when we have allegations against officers,” said Nugent.
The cameras record an officer’s activity during the entire shift. Those recordings are automatically uploaded to a network server.
Nugent said the department will continue having conversations about body cameras.
“We are now trying to figure out cost-effectiveness of a body camera and how much will that really show us in addition to the dash cameras that we have,” said Nugent.
Something Nugent said are both valuable tools when policing in the 21st century.
“It’s been a game changer in law enforcement and if we don’t adapt we won’t survive,” said Nugent.
One thing Nugent hopes others take away is more understanding.
“The reality is, over 99 percent of the people that do this job are looking for ways to be admirable. They’re looking for ways to be transparent. Sometimes in the career in law enforcement we really struggle at having an opportunity to share all the pieces of information,” said Nugent.