Huntsville police testing new body cameras

Published: Dec. 14, 2015 at 10:21 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2016 at 10:31 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Huntsville police are in the process of rolling out new body cameras for officers, and they're conducting a trial run this week.

"There will be 10 officers issued those cameras," said HPD Lieutenant Stacy Bates. "They'll be across all three shifts... so that we see what the video looks like at night, see what it looks like during the day."

The city approved $1.2 million to buy the cameras, but police are still trying them out before making a final purchase.

The cameras come with two big features: They can snap photos and have the ability to sync up to cameras already installed in officers' patrol vehicles.

"When we're turning our lights on it's going to automatically turn the camera on as well," said Bates. "We will have both cameras rolling so when an officer is out on the scene and has to jump into action, they're not having to remember that I have to turn a camera on."

Read more about an investigation into the cost/value comparison of police body cameras.

Mayor Tommy Battle says the cameras will tell every side of the story when officers respond to a scene.

"The ability to know what actually happened, not one side said this and one side said this," said Mayor Tommy Battle. "We can provide a trust situation with police and our general public."

It's one of the reasons the city hopes officers are wearing their new technology in the coming weeks.

Police say if they don't like the Panasonic Arbitrator body cameras currently being tested, they'll try another brand.

Still, the plan is to have officers with body cameras in early 2016.

After training, officers will receive their cameras one group at a time until every officer has one.

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