Brusly police officers getting body cameras

Brusly police officers getting body cameras

BRUSLY, LA (WAFB) - Brusly Police officers will soon pack a little something extra on their belts. The department is getting body cameras for every officer on the force.

The Addis Police Department has been using the devices since March.

As officer Phillip LaBauve gets ready to patrol the streets of Addis, his every step is being monitored and can be recorded through the tiny camera on his chest. It looks like a paging device. but it is actually a full body camera.

Police Chief Ricky Anderson said all of his officers are paired with one on the road.

"It protects the citizens out there with all that's going on between officers and citizens and complaints being filed. If we have a bad officer, we know about it right away," Anderson said.

It protects his officers too. If they need to record something in a potentially-dangerous situation and don't want to expose themselves, they can hold the camera in their hands to point and shoot.

"There's more benefits than drawbacks and the officers know that," Anderson said.

The body camera can connect to the officer's cell phone through bluetooth which allows the officer to view the video in real time from the palm of his hand.

"In a building search I could point around that building for something rather than showing my whole body," Anderson explained.

Brusly Police Chief Richie Johnson is so impressed with the technology he is ordering body cameras for his officers. He said they will be required to hit record in every interaction they have with the public.

"You go out to a scene, and you're trying to write everything to keep track when you could just hit your camera and record everything you need to record and then go back and do your report on it," Johnson said.

The recordings are downloaded to a computer and saved as evidence, which could be used in court.

Anderson said his department has not run into that situation yet, but the cameras do keep his officers on their toes.

"If you've got a bad officer out there it sure does show up quick," Anderson said.

Chief Johnson said Brusly officers will be using body cameras by mid-October.

Copyright 2014 WAFB. All rights reserved.