AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Amarillo Police Department is upgrading patrol cars and adding a new addition to patrol officers’ uniforms.
Hard at work in the APD’s garage is the company that will make sure all uniformed Amarillo Police officers’ new in-car camera system and body-worn cameras are ready to activate.
“This is going to be so much better because it will not only record what’s going on in the car, around the car, but also the officers will have a body cam on,” said Sgt. Carla Burr of the Amarillo Police Department. “So wherever they go, it will also be recording audio and video.”
The APD has had in-car cameras for some time, but this new computer system will store the data in a different and more technologically advanced way.
“When I started it was VHS, so that was a long time ago,” said Sgt. Burr. “Then, it moved to digital and we had it on cards. This is going to be a web-based and cloud based system that it’ll be saved on.”
The upgraded in-car camera system will work together with the new body-worn cameras.
Previously, patrol officers have only worn body-mics.
“This is one of the most valuable tools that a police officer uses day in and day out,” said Jared Miller, City Manager for the City of Amarillo. “It’s useful to the community in that it provides accountability, that’s very important. We are servants of the public trust and these are one of the tools that helps ensure public trust.”
The APD has outlined scenarios where an officer will be required to have these body cameras running, as well as when it’s not necessary.
The body-worn cameras will be rolling during traffic stops, use of force incidents, and in situations where officers are gathering evidence.
“It’s going to help because there may be things that happen that you didn’t see, maybe a witness that was there that we didn’t know about or maybe another piece of evidence that you can see,” said Sgt. Burr.
The APD says once all car installations are complete and all officers are trained, the in-car camera system and body cameras will launch together.