BY JUSTIN MINYARD
West Point Police Department could soon have a new tool in its arsenal.
The West Point Board of Selectmen approved a WPPD request Tuesday to submit a grant application to garner funding to install at least five Pro-Vision cameras into active patrol cars.
West Point Police Chief Tim Brinkley said WPPD had at one time video cameras installed patrol cars. However, Brinkley said those cameras are now “inoperable.”
“A picture is worth 1,000 words,” Brinkley said. “ ... Video imaging and audio is critical to getting to the root of the issues (in question) — not to mention provide valuable evidence when it comes time for court.”
Brinkley said he was hoping to outfit five Pro-Vision cameras, but said he was aware that full funding to accomplish that goal is a gamble. Each camera comes with a price tag of about $4,701, for a total cost of $25,705. Even if the funds garnered prevent the department from installing all five cameras, Brinkley said he would still push forward with installing the cameras, albeit in fewer patrol cars.
“I can’t think of any problems,” Brinkley said. “The more video and audio footage you have, the better. There are no problems associated with it, because there are no court proceedings that don’t allow the use of video and audio as evidence during the adjudication process.”
Footage from the Pro-Vision cameras, according to Brinkley, can be synced to a server in the department headquarters when the respective patrol car is in close vicinity to it. However, Brinkley said the captured footage is also stored on an secure digital (SD) card.
“I can’t think of any departments in large towns that don’t have videos in cars,” Brinkley said. “It’s old technology. In fact, most departments now even have computers in cars. We’re not there yet. ... We’re still trying to catch up with technology.”
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