CHICOPEE – The Chicopee Police department is joining policing organizations around the country in added video cameras to the ways it protects the public and its officers.
Police Officer Michael Wilk explained to Reminder Publications the department is now in a test of a dashboard mounted camera in one of its cruisers. The goal is to eventually have the system in all 20 cruisers, he added.
Wilk noted, “What this means is that the camera records only video. This is useful, especially when an officer is responding to a call where there is the possibility of a fleeing suspect, or, if an officer sees something, they can immediately replay the video. When an officer is out on a motor vehicle stop, or any other call, he can activate audio recording from the wireless microphone carried on their person. This immediately records both audio and video of the interaction.”
The trial period will allow police officials to “work out the kinks,” Wilk said.
Part of the questions yet to be determined will be where the video footage is stored – on servers at the police headquarters or on a “cloud” server – and how long would the footage be saved.
He added the footage cannot be erased from the camera in the car.
Wilk noted the department is not considering body cameras.
The cost of the camera system is between $3,000 and $3,500 per car and Wilk said, “You can not put a dollar amount on officer safety.”