Federal grant benefits Thomas County officers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Federal grant benefits Thomas County officers

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THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - After a two year budget battle, law officers in Thomas County say they will finally receive the equipment they need. The Thomas County Sheriff's office as well as the Boston, Coolidge, and Meigs Police Departments will share a $79,330 Justice Assistance Grant.

Officers say the main benefit of the grant is clear. "Officer safety, definitely officer safety," said Coolidge Police Chief James Wright.

The grant will pay for in-car digital cameras. The new cameras are built into the rear-view mirror and record everything the officer says. "You really don't have to do too much adjusting to it. Once you turn it on it picks up everything around you. Beautiful," said Wright.

Officials can use the camera recordings as evidence in court. Wright says he's just glad they can stop using VHS tapes. "This is what we had to use in this one. And when it runs out than when got to replace it. With the memory card, when it gets full you can take it down, download it, boom just stick it back in there it's ready to go."

Wright says the quality of the video is great. "Especially at night, it shows up very clear at night."

Up until now Thomas County patrol cars were equipped with roof cams. In order for officers to glance at them while driving they needed to take their eyes of the road and look up. Wright says with the new rear view mirror cams his fellow officers can stay focused and stay safe. 

The grant will also pay for new fingerprint equipment for the sheriff's office.

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