Midstate police department using on-officer cameras

Written by Craig Layne, Morning Edition Host/Reporter | Jan 25, 2013 1:00 PM
Police lights

(Lebanon) -- A Lebanon County police department is using an officer-mounted camera system to record incidents as they happen.

North Cornwall Police are only the second department in the commonwealth to use the technology.

The department's nine full-time officers can wear the uniform-mounted system that records audio and video from their point-of-view.

Chief Todd Hirsch says the technology -- developed by the same company that makes the "Taser" stun gun -- then uploads the video to a secure server where it cannot be modified.

He says it creates a greater amount of accountability for police and better behavior from suspects.

"The officer wearing it obviously knows that this situation is being recorded," Hirsch says. "I think it permits for more professional police department, and the people that we deal with, once they are advised that audio and video are being recorded, we've noticed a difference in their behavior, as well."

Hirsch says the video recordings will also be helpful as evidence in court cases.

He says the four units currently in use cost about $14,000 for a three-year contract, but adds they are cheaper than installing "dashboard cameras" in police cars.

About 30 departments are using the system nationwide.

The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police is the only other Pennsylvania department to use the technology.

Published in Lebanon, News

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