Clayton police get new body cameras for safety, transparency

CLAYTON —Clayton police’s new body cameras are embedded into officer’s uniforms and automatically come on when the officer draws their gun from its holster.

The City of Clayton showed off the new technology officers have been wearing for about two weeks Monday morning. They said the body cameras are the most advanced cameras available.

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“With this technology, we hope to accomplish several goals. First, we want to be sure we have better transparency and better accountability with our officers and with our citizens,” Mayor Mike Stevens said. “And we are confident that it will lead to even more increased trust.”

“These body cams will serve as an impartial eye-witness,” the mayor said.

He also said the cameras will bring a quicker resolution to issues and provide additional evidence to prosecutors in the case of arrests.

“And more importantly, we hope to use it as feedback for our own department,” Stevens said. “That we will get increased training opportunities from this.”

The deal between the city and Utility Inc.’s BodyWorn is for five years and $130,000. It includes equipping 17 officers with the technology that cannot be knocked off a uniform during a struggle because it is inside the officer’s uniform, officials said.

Utility Inc. BodyWorn Director of Law Enforcement Relations Jason Dombkowski points at Clayton Police Detective Shawn Schutte as he displays the new body worn cameras Clayton Police have started wearing. Clayton Police Chief Matthew Hamlin, who is standing behind him, said the body cameras will be worn by his officers while they are on duty. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
Caption
Utility Inc. BodyWorn Director of Law Enforcement Relations Jason Dombkowski points at Clayton Police Detective Shawn Schutte as he displays the new body worn cameras Clayton Police have started wearing. Clayton Police Chief Matthew Hamlin, who is standing behind him, said the body cameras will be worn by his officers while they are on duty. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Credit: Marshall Gorby

BodyWorn Director of Law Enforcement Relations Jason Dombkowski said body cameras will come on automatically under several circumstances including when an officer is within a mile of a location they were dispatched to, when an officer draws their weapon, are in a physical fight or in a foot pursuit and when an officer is down.

Dombkowski said the camera knows if an officer is horizontal and will alert dispatchers and other officers that the officer needs help.

It also records back 2 minutes and automatically uploads video into the cloud that can be viewed by police administration within minutes, Dombkowski said. It also allows police administration to view the body camera in live time.

Clayton Police Chief Matt Hamlin said technology has improved over the years and the cameras are more affordable today than they were in previous years.

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He also said the cameras will build trust in the community.

“In today’s world, the public that we serve really wants accountability and transparency,” he said. “And even though we had in-car cameras which allowed some of that to be recorded, we can enhance that by having body cameras and we can record every incident that happens between the public and our police officers.”