City Looks at New In-Car System for Police

By Michael Gossum | 

A few of Bowling Green Police's new cruisers have a brand new camera system that includes a stronger camera and monitor than ones in their older cars.

"This camera system is more technologically advanced as far as the quality of the image is much greater. It has a much better recording capacity and a much better audio capacity and quality as well," said Bowling Green Police Officer Ronnie Ward.

The Bowling Green City Commission is looking to bring this up to date camera system to all of the vehicles in the fleet.

It's on the agenda for Tuesday night's meeting at city hall to approve an application for homeland security grant funds to be able to get it.

"If we're successful in this, we're going to be able to replace 64 cameras in our police cruisers and that's very important particularly in this day and time. The current cameras are outdated. I was there when we got some of these cameras back seven years ago and you can't get parts and different things. One of the great things about this grant is there is no local match money," said Bowling Green Cit Commissioner Bill Waltrip.

Police say it is very important to have a strong camera in the car for several reasons.

"It really boils down to us being able to have movable evidence. We can use the camera systems to record conversations, that we may interview someone on the side of the street where we don't have to bring them back to the station to do that. When an officer activates his emergency equipment or activates the camera system, it often times will catch things the officer didn't even know happened, something that may have happened in the background or something that may have happened prior to what an officer was able to observe and it will catch that then," said Ward.

The hope is now, the grant will be successful.

The in-car camera system costs a little more than $300,000 but as Commissioner Waltrip said no local match is required in this grant.

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