AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - Americus police officers say new body cameras are the best equipment they've gotten since computers to write reports.
The new cameras have been on the streets for a couple weeks now. The department spent about $14,000 of grant money to outfit every patrol officer and investigator.
From normal calls, to traffic stops, these new body cameras are changing the way officers do their jobs. Officers turn the cameras on whenever there is an interaction with citizens,
"Instead of being a he-said, she-said, they have actual video to determine if the officer and citizens did anything wrong," said Lt. Terrell Coley with the Americus Police Department. "To turn on the camera, just takes two presses, push a button twice."
The camera immediately starts recording after being turned on but the cameras may be best for stops. "When they get stopped sometimes they assume that the officers are harassing or picking on them, but the camera is an excellent system to capture what happens during a traffic stop," said Coley.
Coley says the cameras are being accepted by officers young and old. "Put it into a docking station."
Cantrell Johnson is one of those young officers. "More organized, keeps up with data better, basically i love this camera more than the first one we had," said Officer Johnson. The cameras even cut down on complaints, but if one comes in, supervisors know where to look.
"Once the complaint goes through, the administrator can go back through evidence.com and view the incident that we had just left to verify if there was a legitimate complaint or not," said Johnson.
"It'll be awfully difficult for an officer to be accused of something that there isn't a record of it," said Coley. A nice thing, Coley says, for these officers to realize.
The department is also preparing to roll out several new cars, all as the city works to hire a new chief.
Donalsonville Chief Woodrow Blue was named the lone finalist. The city manager hopes to decide soon whether to hire him.
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