in car camera system
Ripley County Sheriffs Office is using the latest technology
to ensure the safety of the public as well as its officers. According
to Sheriff Tom Grills, the upgrade to digital cameras in the police
cars was the number one priority ever since he came into office.
The previous camera system was good, but repairs were difficult
because it was old, he said.
Sheriff Grills spent the past 18-months researching camera systems
that would work best for the department. He said the digital cameras
have the ability to record images on an SD card which can then
be loaded into any computer at the end of the shift. This is especially
useful when the server is down due to a power outage or severe
The compact and user friendly system has the ability to record
other information such as the time the lights on the police car
are turned on; speed of the vehicle; as well as record dialog
between the officer and dispatch. The GPS capability allows the
officer to record the location of evidence thrown out of a vehicle,
according to Grills. This information will correspond with the
For those who do get away, still shots can be downloaded to the
printer and then passed along to the officers. Just because
you dont pay today, doesnt mean you wont pay
later, said Deputy Randy Holt.
The in car camera system also enhances the integrity of the officers,
according to Grills. The cameras also encourage the officers to
maintain professionalism, according to Holt. Im human,"
said Holt, and the cameras help to keep me from getting
caught up in a difficult situation.
The recorded images serve as evidence at trials. The time and
date, as well as other information, can be seen by the jury on
the video. The video cannot be tampered with, according to Grills.
It wont replace testimony, only enhance it,
The cameras work to de-escalate a situation when someone knows
that they are being recorded. Grills noted, officer, as
well as public safety, is priority.
The camera system has been installed in all of the deputy and
reserve deputy vehicles. According to the sheriff, it was paid
for with funds from the Home Incarceration Program.
BETH RUMSEY PHOTO
Ripley County Deputy Sgt. Randy Holt shows how the in car
camera system can record both sound and video during routine
traffic stops to a chase. According to Holt, the rearview
mirrors acts as a screen, yet does not distract the officer
while drving. The system has the capability to record activity
in the rear of the vehicle as well.