One of the first initiatives I had as police chief almost six years ago was to install video cameras in the squad cars. The value we get from the cameras is well known and established. The initial cameras we purchased have reached the end of their life cycle. These cameras get used 24 hours a day, every day of the year, they go from extreme heat in the summer, to extreme cold in the winter. They get jarred around on our bumpy streets and have a life expectancy of five years. We've had to cannibalize camera parts to keep them running and in a couple of cases recently, the cameras have not worked when they needed to. The last thing we need is to have a major incident unfold that was not recorded due to an old system that no longer works properly.
We've got our money's worth out of our first cameras, but it is time for us to begin the replacement cycle. On Monday night's City Council agenda there is a resolution to allow us to purchase a new system called Mobile-Vision. This system will have a camera in the car as well as an integrated camera the officer will wear. When a camera is worn by an officer it can record what an officer may see and provide valuable, recorded evidence. The value of an officer wearing a camera is obvious, but I am sure there will be benefits we have not even thought of. We hope to have the Mobile-Vision system up and running in January.