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Springettsbury Township Police begin wearing body cameras while on patrol

Written by Jasmine Vaughn-Hall, York Daily Record | Oct 13, 2018 9:34 AM
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FILE PHOTO: Springettbury Township Police Chief Dan Stump during a February press conference at Springettsbury Township Police Department. (Photo: Paul Kuehnel, York Daily Record)

(York) -- Police officers are expected to be receptive and observant in communities while they're patrolling and enforcing the law.

The Springettsbury Township Police Department is getting a little extra help with a newly added device.

On Friday, officers started wearing the WatchGuard Vista Wearable Body Camera, according to a news release from Springettsbury Township Police.

The dual-functioning device performs as a camera and DVR that collects a combination of video and audio. 

Sgt. Brian Wilbur said every officer in the Springettsbury department is required to wear one while on duty.

Officers had to complete a two- to three-hour online video course and testing that was provided by the body cam manufacturer.

Officers will wear the body cam near or around the chest area, and it will be on the outer layer of their clothing. There's also a portion that's clipped onto the duty belt. 

The use of body cams is expected to provide a level of transparency and allow law enforcement officials to review officer-citizen contact. 

"It's to better capture incidents to get a clearer picture of what actually occurred," Wilbur said. "I bring up the example of somebody that might be violent in nature...everybody gets a different picture in their head of what violence might be."

Every action of an officer is recorded, so you can only imagine how much space that would take up on the server. There's a retention schedule in place that gets rid of video and audio that's no longer needed.

Wilbur said only supervisors are able to pull up the recorded audio and video that accumulates. Recordings are in high-definition.

More: Pa. Senate bill would shield body camera videos

More: Debate over body cam footage rolls to Supreme Court

This article comes to us from a content-sharing partnership between York Daily Record and WITF. 

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