HOISINGTON — The Hoisington Police Department has added an improved tool to its tool chest to fight crime-digital cameras, replacing older cameras that were failing.
“The old cameras were malfunctioning,” said Hoisington Police Captain Josh Nickerson. “For court purposes, it’s very important,” to have cameras that are fully functional. The audio quit working from time to time, and the department was having issues with prosecution of cases.
The cameras will also monitor officer compliance, offering a clear record of events. “We deal most of the time with people who don’t like us,” said Nickerson.
“It auto turns on when the ignition goes on,” said Nickerson. It records while the vehicle is in use and for 45 minutes after.
Cost of the units was $9,590, paid for using diversion funds. Two of the top-of-the-line cameras were purchased.
“The high definition video and audio are unbelievable,” said the officer.
Nickerson will continue to use an older camera that is still functioning in his police vehicle.
Nickerson, who has been an officer for 10 years, did a lot of research before proposing the Watch Guard 4REs to the Barton County Attorney.
Hoisington Police Chief Kenton Doze thanked the county attorney and said they appreciate them.
The new cameras have night vision capabilities, audio attached to officer’s belts that can pick up conservations 1-2 miles away from the patrol car, crash sensor, display of officer speed, and records. The 16 GB color camera records inside and outside of the vehicle, and recording can be activated from the mic pack, which is smaller than cell phone.
A supervisor can access the video stream through the internet and watch live audio and video. The system can survive a hit from an IED.
The cameras were installed by a company out of Salina and were customized for the needs of the department.
The information from the camera can be downloaded to a USB flash drive and transferred to a computer for recording.
“It protects both the officer and the public,” said Nickerson.
They have been in place for about three weeks and the transition has been smooth. “We’ve pretty much got the hang of it,” said Nickerson.
“The officers love them,” he said.