Tallahassee Police to implement department-wide body cameras

Published: Aug. 30, 2018 at 10:30 PM EDT
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By: Alex Crescenti | WCTV Eyewitness News

August 30, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- In just a few weeks, new body cameras supplied by Axon will be attached to the shoulder of every officer with the Tallahassee Police Department.

After testing them since the spring, the department is making adjustments, like limiting exposure to rain.

"The type of camera where it's a shoulder mount, more of the camera is exposed," said TPD Chief Michael DeLeo. "They were able to find a fix for it and we haven't had the same issues since then."

The total price tag to equip the department's more than 400 officers comes out to just less than $2 million. The bill will be paid for through grants and taxpayer money. Chief DeLeo and commander staff will be the first to wear the cameras full time.

"And then after that it will be with our patrol officers, so the officers that are out on call services everyday. They're our biggest users, they have the most interaction with people," he said.

The department is also working on how to store all of the footage. TPD says once the officer shuts down the system at the end of the shift, the footage then goes into the Cloud.

"It's all encrypted so that it cannot be edited. So, it's stored up there and everything is accessed from the Cloud-based solution," said Jason Lowe, the Project Manager.

While there have been some hiccups along the way, the department says it expects to roll out the body cameras without any major problems.

"Any technology project is not going to be seamless and we're expecting that and that's why we're doing a staged roll out," added Lowe.

An additional feature that was purchased by the department is sensors that would automatically turn the camera on as soon as the officer took their gun or taser out of the holster. The department did this as an additional layer of transparency.