Vievu Wearable Camera
Beebe Police Car
BEEBE - (KTHV) - Beebe police officers add cameras to their uniform.
"Video doesn't lie," says Lieutenant Brian Duke with the Beebe Police Department who is the first to try out a new addition to his uniform.
All ten Beebe patrolmen will now wear wireless cameras and record video from their dashboards while on duty.
"The last time this department had any type of video equipment as far as mounted in the vehicles was back when VHS tapes were big," says Lt. Duke. He says by using both methods of video, the department will have a big picture of each stop.
"Dash cameras that are permanently mounted in the car, they can't go with the officer inside the residence to see exactly what is going on. A lot of them, you can hear the audio but you can't put a picture with the audio," says Lt. Duke.
The company that sells the wearable cameras, Vievu, uses real life videos as demonstrations of the camera's ability.
"From a traffic stop point of view, you've got the initial stop filmed from the camera and then you've got the officer violator contact with the body camera," says Lt. Duke.
He says his department realized the importance of video recordings after a dangerous run in last spring. A suspect attacked an officer who then used his taser to defend himself but it malfunctioned, forcing his partner to use his gun.
"When the suspect went to strike at the officers again, the other officer had to discharge his fire arm and had we had this on camera, the internal investigation wouldn't have lasted near as long as it did," says Lt. Duke.
Whether it's used in court as evidence or to help refresh an officer's memory when filling out reports, the Beebe Police Department says dash cameras and all ten of the new wireless cameras will be put to good use.
"Any court case can be disputed. With video, the chances of it being disputed are very slim," says Lt. Duke.
Federal grants allowed the department to purchase the cameras that run about $800 a piece. The Lonoke Police Department already uses a version of the uniform camera as well as the Fort Smith Police Department.