CARMEL, Ind. – After spending years testing different models, the Carmel Police Department is ready to add body cameras.
Next year, the department will add five officers, bringing the total number to 121. All of them will be equipped with their own body camera.
"Cameras are not a new thing at the Carmel Police Department," said Lt. Joe Bickel with the Carmel Police Department. "We’ve had in car cameras since 1996.”
The department website claims they were the first department in Indiana to install in-car cameras more than 20 years ago. The car cameras will not be replaced by the body cameras, but will instead be synced with the new system. Giving police audio and visual recordings from multiple angles.
“I think that body worn cameras not only protect the police but they protect the public" Lt. Bickel said. "I think when you know you're being recorded you may act a little differently than when you’re not being recorded.”
The department will spend roughly $1.3 million to outfit all 121 officers with new body and car cameras by 2019. That cost includes a cloud storage system. It's a large sum up front, but an amount the department hopes will pay off in the long run.
"I think that body worn cameras will be able to have more guilty pleas, less civil litigation against the officers or police department because it will actually capture exactly what happened during that incident,” Lt. Bickel said.
Carmel isn’t the only Hamilton county city equipping officers with body cams. Fishers police are also planning on purchasing 100 body cams by the end of next year.