Pending budget approval, body cameras on the way for Bowling Green Police

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- Pending budget approval by the Bowling Green City Commission, the Bowling Green Police Department expects to have body cameras for patrol officers by the end of 2016.

The more than 90 body cams, start-up equipment and storage space will cost around $160,000, but the police department is asking the city for a little more in anticipation of unforeseen expenses.

"It is a substantial amount of money, but hopefully this is something that can pay off on their investment with better video, better insight into what the officers are doing and also, hopefully, will help solve some crimes," said BGPD Deputy Chief Kevin Wiles.

BGPD granted WBKO the right to share with our viewers some footage taped with a test model body camera.

The video was of a fake scenario created by BGPD officers, and showed the exact quality the body cam footage will be.

Wiles explained to WBKO they anticipate mounting the camera on the shoulder area.

"It will attach on the collar ... where it gets a little bit of a higher perspective, but also captures the audio and the image."

Should an officer have to move quickly, the video footage is expectedly shaky and difficult to decipher.

Bowling Green Chief of Police Doug Hawkins said even under those circumstances, the audio should prove helpful, something he says his officers are excited about.

"Young officers, they live in a world of video already and so this is no surprise to them. There's no resistance from the officers about deploying body cameras as well, so really, you know usually you talk about win-win. This is kind of a three-win, you know? You've got the public, the elected officials and the officers all viewing this as a win."

The video captured on the body cameras will be stored for a minimum of 60 days, though some could be stored 'for life.'

Typically, we think of body cameras as a way to capture negative things, but Wiles said there was a completely different reason he was excited to get them in and running.

"Our officers they do- they do great work everyday- and so this is going to be a way that we can capture some of that good work, and I guess I'm looking forward to seeing some videos of some officers doing great things."

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