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Valdosta cruisers getting the upgrade

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March 14, 2008

Valdosta - The Valdosta Police say their in-car camera system is an invaluable tool.

"Anytime the officer turns his blue lights on or sirens, the camera automatically comes on," says Brian Childress of the Valdosta Police.  "And within 500 feet of their vehicle, they can record audio so if they are inside a house, we've got audio."

They say it helps in court, helps manage officers and helps dispel complaints.  "It does help us. It protects the officers, it protects the citizens, it helps us police ourselves, and it certainly helps us in court so its paid off in all sorts of different ways," Brian adds.

But several glitches in the system kept some of the cameras from rolling. So they are upgrading to the new digital patroller.

The cars will all be outfitted with new video and sound equipment. Then the officers will be required to pull up to these docking stations at the end of each shift.

"They'll take the cable, plug it into a slot, and once they plug it in the system it says it's detected the server and it will automatically download all video on the hard drive," Childress says.

In virtually no time at all.  "Roughly one hour of video will take a minute and a half to download to the server."

The video will be available to the officers for up to 10 years. Re-outfitting all the cruisers will take nearly a month, but police say they'll be better prepared to protect and serve once they're up and running.

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