The Thibodaux Police Department in Thibodaux, Louisiana, recently received a $15,000 grant from the Lorio Foundation to help improve policing technology for its officers, FOX affiliate WGMB reported.
The TPD decided to spend the grant money on small portable body cameras that go on the chest of officers while they work in the field. According to the source, officers can choose when to record and stop with an easy click of a button.
"Once you get into a traffic stop or you want to activate your camera on scene or what not there is a little on off [button] right here to the right side," Sergeant Clint Dempster of the TPD explained to WGMB.
Police Chief Scott Silverii of the TPD stated the number one goal for police officers in the field is to document the facts. While getting the facts straight might not be the intensely high-tech policing devices many see on crime television shows, having the right information is absolutely essential for the law enforcement agency.
"We don't have to rely on our memory to transcribe your spoken statement," Silverii told WGMB. "We have your voice. We have your image. We have the inflection of your tone. Everything is exactly [documented] as you chose to present it."
Recorded footage helping in court
The device is giving officers and law enforcement agents another eye in the field, which could help them in court cases. According to the source, the cameras' footage has already been used in several cases and has proven successful for the police department.
The video recording makes it much less difficult for officers to fill out police reports and to show others exactly what happened in the field.
"To be able to walk into court and not only have a detective or have a police officer explain to a jury what happened," Cam Morvant, a Lafourche Parish District Attorney told WGMB. "Then we can tell them we are not only going to explain it to you we're going to show it to you."
In New Orleans, police officers are also getting used to the new technology to help them fight crime. According to CBS affiliate WWL-TV, officers have been able to use them on domestic abuse calls and when shots are fired. The recordings can show who instigated a situation and who shot first.
In Thibodaux, agents are using the crime control cameras to help train rookie officers. According to WGMB, veteran officers can review the tape with the rookie agents to walk through what they did right and what needs improvement while they work in the field.