Pelham police get new digital cameras

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pelham police officers will have some new hardware in their patrol cars soon, making it easier to collect and document important evidence.

The city of Pelham recently approved the purchase of 24 high-tech video systems to be installed in the city&8217;s marked cars.

Pelham police lieutenant Scott Tucker said that the price of the new camera systems, which amounts to $190,000, will be a big asset to the department.

&8220;We&8217;ve had video cameras in our vehicles for several years now,&8221; Tucker said. &8220;It was the equivalent of using a home video camera.&8221;

The new cameras will be purchase from Digital Dash Patroller, a company that specializes in video equipment for law enforcement.

The camera will be completely digital, Tucker said, making them a more effective tool and easier for officers to use.

&8220;If a person runs a red light, an officer using the old system would not have recorded it because you have to manually turn the camera on to start it recording,&8221; he said. &8220;With this new system the camera is always recording, so everything will be covered.&8221;

Officers will download the digital recording from the device at the end of their shift, using a docking station that will be installed on the exterior of the Pelham police department.

&8220;It takes about 45 seconds to download,&8221; Tucker said. &8220;Than we&8217;ll automatically have every minute of that shift documented.&8221;

Tucker said the new digital cameras will replace old cameras that had been in use for six years.

&8220;These are the same camera used by the Alabama State Patrol and the Shelby County Sheriff&8217;s officers,&8221; he said. &8220;They&8217;ve been very effective for them and hopefully we&8217;ll see similar results.&8221;