Marion Assistant Police Chief Clinton Jeffrey showed Chamber of Commerce members a new camera system the department purchased earlier this year.
The Axon Flex cameras, made by TASER International, can be attached to specially made glasses or sunglasses, a special headband, or a collar. While turned on, the camera constantly updates a 30-second video buffer. When an officer presses a button to begin recording, the camera records the previous 30 seconds without sound and begins recording live with sound, Jeffrey said.
He said the video quality is impressive, even in low-light conditions. The cameras can be connected to a Bluetooth device to show the video live. When recording, the cameras save the video to a built-in hard drive and downloaded to a computer later.
Jeffrey said the cameras protect officers and the public. Since the cameras went into use, a couple of residents have withdrawn complaints about officers’ behavior after reviewing footage with Police Chief Tyler Mermis, he said.
Because Jeffrey and Mermis are both certified as TASER instructors, the department was able to purchase four cameras at a 40 percent discount. Jeffrey said the price after the discount was about $700 per camera.
He said the department is using the cameras on every call and traffic stop. They plan to keep videos for three to five years. Videos needed in a case will be burned to DVD for longer storage.