All of Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers to get body cams
MARIETTA, Ohio. (WTAP) - On Tuesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced plans to give body cameras to every Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper at a press conference.
DeWine said, “This new system will integrate new dash cameras, new rear seat cameras, and new body cameras into a single system that will simultaneously record the interactions between our troopers and those driving on our highways.”
DeWine assigned Superintendent Colonel Richard Fambro the duty of developing a strategy to get every Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper a body cam last year.
Although all of Ohio State Highway Patrol’s had dash cameras for 20 years and rear seat cameras for multiple as well, there’s been a blind spot.
Fambro said, “The body camera will be the new component for the patrol, adding the additional angle for the rare occasion that previously occurred off camera due to the stationary placement of the current in-car system.”
He added that a comprehensive testing and evaluation process was utilized in order to find the right system.
DeWine emphasized the extra layer of transparency body cameras add, referring to them as ‘impartial first person accounts.’
“..., and, of course, these cameras will be an important tool for community police relations. It will enhance public trust and give our citizens another reason to have confidence in the professionalism of the Ohio State Highway Patrol,” he said.
Plus, the body cameras are self-activating so, by the time a trooper turns on their lights and walks to your door, the camera should already be on.
Fambro said, “The addition of a body camera is another tool to our professional operations tool box, which enhances our comprehensive system to address the issue of bias-based policing that has been in place since January of 2000.”
All road troopers will be wearing the cameras, from Staff Lieutenants and down.
Fambro said to the press conference audience, “To the cadets who are here with us this afternoon. You are the next generation of troopers and will be our first class to have this resource for the duration of your careers.”
The plan is for all Ohio State Highway Patrol districts to have fully installed body cameras by May of 2022 and the rolling out has already begin.
DeWine said the patrol has bought about 1,500 body cameras and 1,200 new in-car systems.
The new camera systems will cost $15 million over the next five years and it will be paid through the patrol’s operating budget.
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