Monday, June 27, 2011 | 12:35 p.m.
Henderson Police recently added new gadgets to their patrol vehicles — in-car digital video cameras to help investigations and enhance accountability.
"The video will show an unbiased and accurate view of what occurred during an encounter," Henderson Police Chief Jutta Chambers said in a statement.
Police installed the $1.2 million recording system in the department's 150 marked patrol vehicles during the past few weeks, officials said.
The system will constantly record, but only 60 seconds will be stored at a time unless the vehicle's emergency lights or sirens are on, the car is traveling 80 mph or faster, or the officer activates it from a wireless microphone or laptop computer in the vehicle, police said.
Authorities said the extra minute of video could prove useful to officers in a variety of situations, including grabbing footage of a reckless driver before the officer initiates a traffic stop.
Police said the video files automatically will be saved for 90 days or longer if there is a request. Authorities plan to save videos that show use or force or an arrest for three years, officials said.
The video cameras will record action in front of the car and in the backseat, police said. When an officer returns to the station, the system wirelessly downloads the video files to city servers.
The department received a grant from the Department of Justice to pay for the system.
"No new gadget will end crime, no new computer will ease the pain of a victim, but the intelligent use of the newest technologies helps the officers to do all those things," Chambers said.