For the previous six years, Pottawatomie County Sheriffs Deputies have been using body cameras.
Like any form of technology, it quickly becomes outdated. The time has come for the department to update its technology, Sheriff Mike Booth said.
“Body cams are an extremely valuable tool,” Booth said. “The new features will give us the option to record in high definition, extended battery life and the ability to record for longer periods of time.”
The previous cameras were the Muvi brand and are in the process of being replaced by Maxsur brand. With the new cameras there comes significant updates and added features, Booth said.
“The new cameras now have interchangeable batteries and storage capacity upgrades,” Booth said. “We have much greater capabilities than we had before.”
The new cameras were more expensive than originally anticipated but through private donations and several grants, the department was able to afford the best cameras, Booth said.
In order to protect the integrity of the videos, the new devices allow deputies to upload files directly to a protected hard drive.
“Nobody has the authority to change anything,” Booth said. “Whenever a video is challenged in court we have the ability to show how the video is protected.”
In the past there have been cases where individuals have challenged the way deputies handled a call. With the body cameras, the deputies are able to show exactly what happened when they go out on a call.
“We've had a case where an individual said we forced our way into a house and we came in unannounced,” Booth said. “I told her we would be more than happy to go over the footage and see where we can correct whatever had happened and if the action took place the way alleged. It went from an alleged wrongdoing to 'no comment.'”
The deputies received training with the new body cameras on Wednesday afternoon.
You can reach Adam at (405) 214-3940.