The Police Department hopes this will aid in keeping citizens and officers safe.
The Ormond Beach Police Department is now fully equipped with body cameras, a move the Department hopes will increase the safety of citizens and officers.
The City Commission approved a five-year equipment lease-purchase with Axon Enterprise Inc. at its meeting on April, consisting of payments of around $75,000 per year for a total of $377,294.34, according to a city memo. This was under the city's $450,000 budget for the cameras, as set aside in the 2018-2019 Capital Improvement Plan.
OBPD Capt. Chris Roos said body camera training began on Sunday, and over the next couple of days, all 71 sworn officers will be equipped with the new technology.
“At that point, everybody will have a camera — from the chief on down,” Roos said.
The cameras have a 143 degree range, Roos said, and will aid in reviewing incidents. Officers will be able to see and clarify what exactly happened in the event of a complaint, doubts or training and discipline issues.
OBPD will soon implement a signal that will automatically turn on an officer's body camera if he or she utilize their patrol vehicle's emergency lights. An additional system that will turn the cameras on if an officer draws his or her weapon is also on its way.
Body cameras will also allow OBPD to release video footage if needed.
But, the cameras aren't perfect, Roos said.
"It’s not the ‘catch-all,'" Roos said. "It’s not the answer to everything, but if it helps to answer some questions, helps us, and helps the public, then it’s well worth it.”