HINCKELY TWP. –– Hinckley Township trustees approved Tuesday appropriations to buy five new body cameras for the newest members of the police department.
The total cost for the cameras, which are being purchased through Kustom Signal, is $3,553.50. The department has a $2,100 credit with the company that it earned through an old cruiser camera buyback program leaving the out-of-pocket cost at $1,452.50 for the township.
“This will give each officer their own body camera,” Chief David Centner said. “The body cams are programmable. We can put each badge number into the cameras so when we replay video and audio from whatever mission it may be, we know exactly which camera and the officer.”
The department first started purchasing body cams for officers in August in an effort to update the department’s equipment. At that time, a total of $86,988 was spent on body cameras, new vehicles and other equipment for the department.
With the five new body cams, they are now 1–to-1 with officer body cameras. In August, they only had 10 officers and they recently hired 5 more.
Centner said that up until recently when the department started buying new body cams, members of the department had to figure out which officer had which camera on the day that the video in question was taken.
Now, each officer will have a body camera with the aim to make it easier for the department to provide essential details when reviewing video for the prosecutor’s office, evidence, etc.
Almost half of Medina County’s police agencies have body cameras to record their officers’ interactions with the public including the Wadsworth Police Department, which took the step last month to make the purchase for the first time.
Wadsworth Safety Director Matt Hiscock said at that time that purchasing and using body cameras makes sense in this day and age.
“I believe body-worn cameras are essential in today’s society to provide the officer’s perspective,” Hiscock previously said.
“The thing that makes the most sense, if you really want accountability both for your officers and for the people they interact with, is to also have video from the officer’s perspective.
Wadsworth purchased 29 body cameras for the city’s patrol officers, at an estimated cost of $40,000. Wadsworth opted to purchase WatchGuard body cameras.