AVON, Ind. — Avon Police is adding a critical piece of technology to its officers’ vests. Body cameras will now be worn by all 38 officers on the force.

”We’re proud to put on cameras and show people the level of work and excellence we do every day in our community,” said Brian Nugent, the Avon Police deputy chief of investigations.

Nugent said the department has taken its time to add the cameras for several reasons.

”We felt having a more patient approach for the technology to evolve was also a better approach fiscally,” he said.

Thanks to Indiana House Bill 1006 by Rep. Greg Steuerwald, Avon PD was awarded $30,400 by the Department of Homeland Security.

”It allowed a match grant fund to be available to agencies across the state of Indiana who are launching their body cam programs,” Nugent said.

The money helped Avon Police buy 38 cameras for each of its officers, the continued cost of the program through hardware, data storage and installation is covered by the department.

Avon Police body cameras charging

”A lot of the morale went up knowing officers had these cameras on to protect themselves,” Nugent said.

Avon PD Sgt. James Schwartz said it helps him to feel safer out in the field, and protected against any possible false allegations made against him or other officers.

”It completely alleviates the whole ‘he said, she said’, we can go in and look for ourselves,” Schwartz said.

Nugent said the video is 4k resolution and the sound quality is great, as well.

”You have all this high-quality video footage, sound of the actual event,” Schwartz said. “Showing here is exactly what happened.”

Officers just hit the black button on the camera and the camera is recording an active event. But even if officers forget to press the button, the camera is always recording in a built-in hard drive.

”We’ll never have an incident where we won’t be able to generate video from an incident from an officer who will say they forgot to activate their camera,” Nugent said. “These cameras are always recording and we have the ability to retrieve those recordings in a historical fashion from the software in this technology.”

Lawrence Police have had its body camera system since 2017, Chief Gary Woodruff said he has seen similar benefits and others they did not expect.

”The ability to be able to share information almost immediately with officers,” Woodruff said.

With the cameras, responding officers can more quickly share suspect images with other officers.

”The faster we are able to share information out with other officers, the more likely we are to get an individual into custody,” Woodruff said.

Nugent hopes this program helps further the trust the community has in the department.

”We feel very confident that our step in our body camera program is going to help bolster our confidence in our community in our officers, which in turn increase our ability to do more effective law enforcement,” he said.

Nugent said if anyone would like a copy of body camera footage from a police interaction they need to go through a public records request process at Avon City Hall.