BEREA, OH (WOIO) - Berea Police Officers will soon be equipped with small video cameras, which can be clipped to uniforms and record arrests and other interactions of officers with the public.
"This is modern technology that can enhance our Division of Police," Safety Director Ken Adams said. "It will not only protect officers but will provide visual evidence, in suspect disputes, for example."
Police Chief Mark Schultz said the use of such cameras by safety forces is increasing. "It's another tool we can use to make us a better department and community partner," he said.
In communities where the cameras have been in use, disputes about arrest procedures and police conduct have declined dramatically, Schultz said. "We have recorded the actions and conversations. The suspects know they are being recorded."
The Chief added two officers have been testing the equipment for the past year.
The city will purchase 35 of the micro-DVR cameras from Pro-Tech Services of Berea.
Cost of the cameras plus charging cords and storage equipment comes to around $5,000, which is part of the police budget for this year.
Schultz said the equipment should be in place and officers trained in its use by this spring.
Adams said every Berea police officer will be issued one of the cameras, which measure a little over two inches in length.
They can provide evidence in criminal and traffic violations, will document arrests and other interactions with the community and can be used to evaluate officer performance for training.