The Erie Police Department has added a new piece of equipment to the uniform.
For nearly three years, the City of Erie has worked to bring body cameras to the force. That day has come and now each patrolman and some cruisers have the devices.
Keeping an eye on crime could be easier for the Erie Police Department now that body cameras have been deployed. It’s been a long time coming.
“I would have preferred to implement it two years ago, but we are getting it done now. I think people see the need for it and police understand the needs and the benefits of it now.” said Mayor Joe Schember.
Before cameras could be purchased and implemented, a lot of work and research needed to be done.
“It took a lot of effort in deciding which cameras to use and our policies and procedures. It took some time to write that and test all these cameras. It took a long time, but we wanted to do things right.” said Captain Rick Lorah.
When deciding to get the body cameras, it was also decided that car cameras could play a big role.
“So, when there’s an incident and the police car is there and a couple policemen, we have several different views of what happened, which will help us pick up things.” Mayor Schember said.
There are about 140 body cameras and 12 cameras in the cruisers.
Once a shift is complete, the officer will then return the camera where it will charge and store the video taken that day.
The hope is now that these are in place for the department. This will help bring down crime rates within the city.
“All of that is going to be on film, so that’s going to help when it comes to court time. I am going to assume that people who are committing crimes in the city, conviction rates will go up.” Captain Lorah said.
Each uniformed officer will wear a camera during the shift.
The company the Erie Police Department is using for these cameras is Axon Enterprises. The company have signed a five year deal.