Body cams now in use by HPD

Joe P. Asher Staff Writer

October 1, 2013

Harlan City Police are now equipped with personal cameras while they are out on the street.

“It is called the Axon Body Cam,” said Harlan City Police Chief Mike Thomas.

Thomas said the device is made by Taser, the same company that manufactures the Tasers used by the city.

“Taser has worked well for us in the past, so we’re checking out another Taser product,” said Thomas.

According to Thomas the cameras are active for the entire shift of the officer wearing it.

“They will record a whole shift, and any incident that we feel is going to need video footage — every call, every traffic stop, every wreck — we can press a button and it marks and saves the incident.”

Thomas said the contents of the camera are downloaded onto a computer for storage.

“Videos can be kept for report writing, court purposes, complaints on officers — if someone comes in and says an officer was rude to them, we’ve got video footage to see if an officer actually was rude or not.”

Every Harlan City Police Officer is equipped with the cameras and are wearing them for every shift, said Thomas.

“It runs the entire shift, and it’s on a 30 second loop, so every 30 seconds it refreshes unless we push the button,” said Thomas. “If we push the button, then it goes back the previous 30 seconds and records until we press a button to stop it.”

Thomas said the cameras went into use on Sept. 27.

“We got them one day last week,” said Thomas. “We spent a couple days…getting familiar with them and writing policy, so there was a couple days delay in putting them into service.”

Thomas pointed out the videos can be used as evidence in court if needed.

Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510, ext. 113, jasher@civitasmedia.com