The Marion Police Department is equipped with new body-mounted cameras that will capture video evidence from the officer’s perspective.
Clinton Jeffrey, city of Marion assistant chief of police, said the new cameras can be attached to a hat, collar, shoulder or on specially designed Oakley sunglasses.
“The great thing is the camera is versatile,” Jeffrey said. “Taser teamed up with Oakley Sunglasses and came up with clear lenses.”
The camera, he said, can be worn in a way that gives the officer’s view of a situation no matter where he is looking.
The new cameras are made by the Taser company, but Jeffrey said they don’t have anything to do with the Taser device itself.
Jeffrey said the reason for purchasing the cameras was because the department’s other ones were not holding up.
“They didn’t hold much video and didn’t scan the elements,” he said.
“We can store about nine hours of video on one battery. I am using the same battery as yesterday and, yesterday I worked 15 hours.”
Without changing the battery, Jeffrey noted that he was still using the same battery an additional five hours the next day for a total of 20 hours.
Another good thing about the new camera is it can record constantly, but doesn’t save anything until the record button is pushed.
“When that button is pushed, the camera goes back 30 seconds and records from there,” he said.
For the department, the new cameras will keep complaints down.
“We can review the video of what happened and when dealing with the public, we will use these almost every time,” Jeffrey said. “There’s always two sides to the story and these will tell our side.”
The video can further play a role when going to court, he said. It will help both the Marion County attorney and any defense attorneys.
Using money from VIN inspections to buy the equipment, Jeffrey said he and Marion Police Chief Tyler Mermis also received 40 percent off because they are Taser instructors.
“Even somebody that’s not tech savvy can be easily taught,” he said. “It took about one hour to teach others how to use them.”