BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Over the last year, Boardman Police have been working to get body cameras for the department.
As of Monday morning, there will be 63 body cameras, put to use, by Boardman Police.
It’s something that Chief Todd Werth said he’s wanted since he took over the department 4 years ago.
Werth said over the last year, they did their research on which camera would work best for them.
“We narrowed it down to three different body cameras, which we tested over the summer and into the early fall and decided on WatchGuard Motorola,” he said.
Chief Werth reached out to other departments for advice on writing the policies for using the body cameras.
“Police departments should have body cameras, totally agree with that statement. But the behind the scenes things, to make sure we get it right, our officers buy into the program,” he said.
Chief Werth said the cameras can help with transparency, conduct investigations and help officers in training along with helping his officers in the field.
Patrolman Joe Olinger said this is really important for the safety of citizens and officers.
“Anytime we go on a call, it will document anything we do and therefore, there will be no allegations of misconduct,” Olinger said.
When an officer wants to start recording, they hit the button once, but what happens in a stressful situation where an officer forgets to hit record? Chief Werth said they have it covered.
“We have the limited ability, for a period of time, cause it’s constantly recording over itself, to go back and capture that video,” he said.
When an officer does a self-initiated stop, they are supposed to hit record and afterward, the officer or supervisor can review that footage.
That’s something Patrolman Olinger said he knows he would have liked in the past.
“Anytime we go on a call, it would be nice to go back and see everything that happened,” Olinger said.
In total, it cost the department over $200,000, over 5 years, including Cloud storage.
Some of the money is being offset by grants.