HANCOCK COUNTY, Ind. – Greenfield police hope to add another level of transparency to the department with the upcoming purchase of new body cameras for each of their officers.
“I've seen a big change,” said Deputy Chief Matt Holland of the Greenfield Police Department.
In his 21 years on the force, Deputy Chief Holland has seen quite the change in technology.
"Police work is always evolving,” Holland added.
He says it's time the Greenfield Police Department updates their systems.
"In today's day and age people are wanting to see more and more evidence when cases go to trial, it's kind of like that CSI effect, but now the technology is out there,” said Holland.
The Greenfield Board of Works approved a motion to allow the department to purchase body cameras and sign onto a contract with Utility Inc. The cameras are manufactured by the company, BodyWorn.
It's the same company that Lawrence police use for their body cameras.
"It will actually start the recording and it's going to keep two minutes prior to being triggered so you can see the events that led up to the action,” said Holland.
The body cameras would cost $538,650. Officer Holland says it's worth it.
"That is a lot of money, but it's money well spent because people want accountability of the police department and everybody expects to see good video, not grainy video that works half the time and half the time it doesn't,” Holland said.
Along with the body cameras the package includes dashboard cameras, replacing all in-car systems, cameras for interrogation rooms and equipment maintenance.
"This is just another tool in the toolbox,” said Sheriff Brad Burkhart of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office.
The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office also recently purchased the same equipment. Sheriff Burkhart says all deputies, court security and investigation teams are covered.
"When an officer gets dispatched to a residence, when he gets to a certain proximity of that residence it automatically activates that system,” explained Burkhart.
Providing an extra layer of security and protection for officers and who they serve.
"I think body cameras offer another layer of transparency to the public and it also protects the public as well as it protects our officers,” said Holland.
The Greenfield Police Department will seek final approval from the City Council at its January meeting. Both the Greenfield Police Department and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office hope to implement the new body cameras by sometime in February.