Police aim to gain public TMs trust with body cameras

Palmhurst police

After national stories concerning alleged police brutality and excessive force, police departments are arming their officers with body cameras.

Palmhurst police said the technology has been a positive change for the department.

With these, wherever the officer looks, it actually sees, Palmhurst Police Chief Michael Vela said. That TMs the reason why we got these."

The cameras are something more like a Bluetooth headset, placed on top of the officer TMs ear.

The addition aims to foster trust within the public, especially with recent officer involved shootings making national news.

We need to have at least accountability and at least transparency, not only for the officers, but for the community as well, Vela sold Action 4 News adding cameras aren TMt something new.

They've had the technology for almost a year, and he said the 16 cameras cost around $24,000.

They TMre paid by grants and donations.

"It TMs a small price to pay when people want to see what exactly occurred or what exactly happened at that time," said Vela.

Each of the officers check out the equipment right before their shift starts and wears the camera throughout the day.

At the end of the shift, the transfers the video and returns the camera back to the department.

Vela said he, along with investigators, have full access to the footage.

When residents ask about the cameras, they hear positive responses, according to police. .

"It just shows that the trust that they should have towards the law enforcement agency that they should have, said Vela. They have nothing to worry about, we have nothing to hide."

Vela wants to make sure residents can turn to police in times of need.

He said cameras also help keep officers on the right track.

It makes everybody think twice before doing something wrong, said Vela.

Residents can see footage that was filmed if a complaint is filed.

However, an investigation would prevent the public from seeing what was recorded.

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