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$4.9 M Investment: Rollout of KPD Cameras Nearing Completion 
Within weeks of taking office, one of the first decisions made by Mayor Indya Kincannon was to invest in upgrading the Police Department’s in-car patrol cruiser cameras and outfitting all uniformed personnel with body-worn cameras.

The City last year signed a five-year $4.9 million contract with Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Axon Enterprise Inc. for up to 700 cameras, and the training and installation of the state-of-the-art technology is nearing completion.

“This is really a win-win – for our KPD professionals and for the community,” Mayor Kincannon says. “Funding cutting-edge cameras is another major investment in public safety – another way to support our officers. It also makes a statement that the City is fully committed to transparency and accountability.”

KPD Lt. Darrell Griffin commands the West District’s night shift Echo Squad. He’s thankful that he and his officers have the new cameras, which he believes could potentially help protect his officers against false allegations of misbehavior.

Griffin also thinks it’s possible that people who are angry or emotional may rein in bad impulses in the heat of the moment if they’re aware their interactions with officers are being captured on camera.

“This keeps us accountable as much as it keeps citizens accountable,” he says. “The cameras are for our protection, and it’s the best equipment available.”

Lt. Darrell Griffin

Griffin started as a cadet in 1996 and was at the Academy in 1998, about the time when in-car cameras were first rolling out.

The pioneering cameras used VHS tapes that only lasted eight hours into a 10-hour shift. That meant that officers mid-shift had to hunt down a supervisor to get a fresh tape.

“They did the job, at the time, but the range was horrible – it wouldn’t pick up audio far from the car,” he says.

A second digital iteration of the cameras was much better, but still not completely efficient.

“We’d have to spend an hour at the start of our shift, allowing the video to upload so as to not run out of memory on the memory card,” Griffin remembers.

Compare that with the superior Axon cameras now being installed.

Previously, capturing an interaction on the cruiser video was hit and miss; the officer would park and guess which direction to point the car and camera. The new cameras capture a much wider field of view than the previous generation of cameras.

Then there’s the automation. The cameras constantly upload on their own, so no patrol time is wasted, waiting on uploads.

Cruisers now have a rear-facing camera that captures images from the back seat. The camera activates anytime the rear door is opened.

Likewise, an officer driving up on a chaotic accident or crime scene doesn’t have to think to turn on his cameras. They activate automatically, the second the car door is opened.

There’s also a geofencing feature. Suppose an officer is engaged in a foot pursuit of a suspect. His or her camera will already be on. And if another officer enters the scene, that officer’s camera also automatically flips on.

With a combination of latest-generation body-worn cameras and in-car cameras, a whole lot more of what transpires gets documented.

“Officers now carry a microphone and a camera everywhere they go,” Griffin says.
Posted by evreeland On 18 February, 2021 at 9:29 PM