Bridgeport Police Department unveils new body cameras

Harrison

A look at the Bridgeport Police Department’s body camera.

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — For the first time ever, all of the officers in the Bridgeport Police Department will wear cameras on their bodies. The new piece of technology was unveiled before the city council during Monday’s meeting.

Bridgeport Police Chief John Walker and Deputy Chief Mark Rogers gave a presentation to the council about the cameras, and showed off videos with their officers demonstrating how it would be used in action. In addition, council members had the opportunity to ask the two about logistical questions about the cameras and how it can be used to enforce the law.

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The process of getting body cameras took the department over a year. Watchguard and Motorola had been working with Bridgeport with several beta cameras to test out how they would work. Now, there will be enough for every officer in the Bridgeport Police Department.

Rogers saw the cameras helping in a number of ways: The footage from the cameras are stored in internal servers and can be used as evidence in court. In addition, if a citizen believes an officer acted in an unprofessional or egregious manner, the footage can be looked at to determine if the claim was factual.

“That’s the beauty of having these. Once we have them, we can always see where there may be deficiencies and try to improve those,” Rogers said. “Just like the law always evolves, this will evolve as well.”

Rogers said that all officers should have body cameras within the next 14 days.

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