Hoyt police department seeking donations for body cameras
The Hoyt Police Department is seeking $825 in financial assistance to purchase three body cameras for its three city police officers, it has been reported.
The police department recently registered on BodyCameraDonations.com in order to outfit three police officers with WOLFCOM Vision Police Body Cameras. The recently launched website helps law enforcement agencies register for publicly-funded donations to purchase the police body cameras.
Hoyt Chief Dan Wentling is coordinating his department’s body camera donation effort. Each body camera costs $275, it was reported. The department serves the town of 600 with three officers.
“We are a part-time department, and we all work regular jobs,” Wentling said.
Wentling said body cameras are the future of law enforcement.
“Our state was considering requiring the use of body cameras, and small departments like ours really can’t afford it,” he said. “I think it would be good for all departments to use them both for the public’s protection and for our protection.”
The body cameras would benefit the department in a variety of ways.
“They would help the department in cases and complaints,” he said. “We have car cameras, but they only capture the view from the patrol car. The body cameras would show more of what’s happening from the officers’ perspective of what’s happening outside the car. We sometimes get complaints about what an officer said or didn’t say, and a body camera would prove exactly what was said.”
Body camera footage could be used as video evidence in court, if needed, it was reported.
“We’ve never had any complaints about an officer physically abusing someone, but there have been complaints about verbal abuse, and it would have been nice to have a body camera to capture exactly what the officer said,” Wentling said. “Sometimes when the officer is away from the patrol car, the audio is hard to hear. We had one situation where an officer had to Tase a gentleman who was attacking another officer. We won the case in court but having a body camera would have left no room for doubt as to exactly what happened.”
Once the body cameras are purchased, Wentling said a body camera policy would be developed for the department.
“We have been studying policies and looking at the Topeka body camera policy and will likely mirror that policy and that of surroundings departments,” he said. “We’re still researching, but we want to make sure we can get the cameras first before we put a body camera policy in place.”
The police department is seeking donations from the public through the website BodyCameraDonations.com. The direct link is http://www.bodycameradonations.com/registered-agency-profile-hoyt-kansas...
Hoyt is the third law enforcement agency in Kansas to register for fund-raising on the website. There are currently more than 80 agencies registered nationwide.
It was reported that 100 percent of each donation goes towards providing the law enforcement agency with body cameras. Each body camera costs $275. The cameras are an all-in-one, self-contained digital video recorder with a rotating camera head, built-in rechargeable battery and 32GBs of internal memory.
The unit weighs only 2.2 ounces with a dimension of 2.9 inches high by 1.5 inches wide by 0.6 inches thick, making it one of the smallest and lightest police body worn cameras in the world, it was reported.
The camera can record and store more than 18 hours of video, can take more than 28,000 digital photos and can record more than 180 hours of audio.