Police have big plans for tiny video cameras

Westbrook, Maine, police officers will soon be sporting tiny, pendant-like cameras that clip onto their shirt fronts or bulletproof vests, which will film their activities and interactions with citizens  as well as enhance safety and serve as a hedge against false accusations and potential civil liability.

The 33-officer agency was to receive three of the $6,000 devices, which are manufactured by SEMCO, a Vista, Calif.,-based company, sometime this month, according to Deputy Chief Paul McCarthy. The cameras will be used by three officers routinely assigned to conduct around-the-clock patrols of the town, which is located about 10 miles west of Portland, he told Law Enforcement News.

The cameras will not be the first time Westbrook police have utilized video technology to enhance officer safety, McCarthy noted. The agency has a cruiser equipped with a dashboard-mounted video camera that can record traffic-stop activities, but unlike that unit, the palm-sized remote video cameras “will see what the officer sees, and go where the officer goes,” McCarthy said.


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Excerpted from Law Enforcement News
Oct 10, 1997. 
© 1997, LEN Inc.  [ Subscribe.]