Charleston mayor submits request for 90 police body cameras
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – The Charleston Police Department may receive upgraded equipment as Mayor Amy Goodwin applied for a grant to purchase body cameras on Monday night.
“This is essential funding for a critical project and these are body cameras for our police officers,” Goodwin said.
On April 30, police in Charleston responded to what became a shootout involving police officers. After the incident, Goodwin asked Charleston Police Chief Tyke Hunt to come up with an action plan for training and equipping his police department. In his letter, Hunt requested 90 additional body cameras.
Goodwin said receiving the new cameras will ensure that every officer has a body camera, as sharing body cameras has made it difficult to cover each officer at all times.
“In the past, we have shared body cameras. Sometimes the battery was not charged enough for the next shift, ”she said. “This is just another guarantee in place that we believe is essential for our police officers.”
Charleston Police Chief Tyke Hunt said the new cameras have longer battery life and a removable quick-change battery. He said it would be a significant upgrade to the cameras they currently use, as they have an “internal battery that requires the camera to charge in a docking station for while. A long period”.
“The ultimate goal is to replace all of the old body worn cameras due to their dated limitations,” Hunt said. “But we’ll probably have to run the new (cameras) with (some of the) old (cameras) until funding is secured to equip every agent in our department.
Hunt said the department currently has 173 patrol officers, but due to a large number of officers retiring they are now down to 156 officers. He said they will be swearing in to five new officers next month and are currently in the process of being hired.
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