Moraine police to get first body-worn cameras, in-car camera systems

ajc.com

Moraine Police Department will soon get its first body-worn cameras and in-car systems.

Moraine City Council voted unanimously Thursday to authorize purchase of 28 body-worn cameras, plus 12 in-car cameras featuring front-facing and rear-seat cameras, plus the associated software, hardware, and licensing on state bid for use by police department at a cost not to exceed $131,000.

That means enough devices for all vehicles and for all of the city’s officers with some spare ones in case any detectives or administrative staff need to grab one and go to the scene of a crime or an investigation, according to Police Chief Craig Richardson

This is the first time the department will have devices of either kind, Richardson said.

“It’s a great evidence gathering too,” he said. “It does act as community transparency, it does act as a third, independent witness there ay the scene.”

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The devices will be ordered soon and delivery likely will take at least 12 weeks, Richardson said.

“WatchGuard is one of the only companies that has an integrated car system and body camera system that all kind of work seamlessly together,” he said.

Moraine police did not add cameras years ago because of citizen privacy concerns, he previously told this news outlet in 2019. But, Richardson said when the Ohio legislature voted to approve a bill that year limiting when body camera footage could be released to the public, he began to explore adding the technology.

Moraine is one of numerous area departments adding body-worn cameras. The devices were approved for purchase in recent months by Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, plus Dayton, Kettering and Clayton police departments.

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Law enforcement agencies using the devices include, but are not limited to, Beavercreek, Englewood, Huber Heights, Greene County Sheriff’s Office, Tipp City, Trotwood, Xenia and Vandalia, records show.

Gov. Mike DeWine said earlier this month that he wants to create a $10 million grant program to help law enforcement agencies equip police officers with body cameras, as well as manage video storage and public records requests for the footage.


DID YOU KNOW?

Ohio law exempts from disclosure body camera footage that captures:

• An act of severe violence against a person, unless the violence was done by a peace officer or the injured person’s consent is obtained;

• Personal information about someone who is not arrested, ticketed, charged or issued a warning by police;

• The interior of a residence or private business, unless it is the site of an adversarial encounter with, or a use of force by, a police officer.