When Doughnuts helped Discover Body Cameras
Officer John Pedjac has been running the body worn video program in Clare, a small US city in the state of Michigan. The City of Clare Police Department has been trialling Reveal RS1-SX body cameras and Digital Evidence Management Software (DEMS) since January 2014, and Pedjac shared his findings with Reveal.
“In 2007, we had officers involved in a self-defence shooting. It was that incident that led us to look into getting body cameras so that we could record evidence from the officer’s point of view.”
“We tried a few others but couldn’t find one we liked, then we came across Reveal, and we really like your cameras… We’ve noticed a reduction in complaints against officers, and a reduction in time our officers spend in court… Body cameras are also a real help in building community relations.”
“There’s a lot about the cameras we really like. They’re incredibly simple to use. They’re tough. They’ve got a great wide angle view. They have multiple uniform mounting options. They don’t have enhanced night vision so they record exactly what the officer sees when it’s dark or whatever. Also, it's nice that there are no wires to get tangled up in or to go bad by being flexed all of the time like some of the other cameras we tried.”
Speaking about the Digital Evidence Management Software, Pedjac says “I particularly like how the video uploads automatically from the camera. And it’s easy to burn evidence to disc when you need to.”
Body cameras provide protection for both the officer and citizens, Clare Police Chief Brian Gregory said.
Having a capacity to record for eight hours, the cameras are taken into the department and video is downloaded to computers after every shift. Then officers use two categories to save the video; evidentiary and non-evidentiary. Videos from the cameras have been used many times in prosecutions, he added.
Gregory said he and others at the department learned about the cameras when they travelled to Great Britain on a trip for the officer-owned Cops & Doughnuts in Clare. Eventually they found a brand made in England that holds up, and gets great audio and video. That brand?