CAMDEN — Thanks to funding from the Preble County Prosecutor’s Office, Camden Police officers have extra tools to help in prosecuting criminal cases, as well as protecting themselves and others from false claims.
According to Camden Police Chief Matt Spurlock, in mid-2021 Prosecutor Martin Votel funded the purchase of four body cameras for the Camden Police Department.
“The cost of each unit was approximately $1,500 ($6,000 total),” Spurlock said. “These units will go with the department’s current in-car camera system and will sync together.
“The current in-car system was funded by Prosecutor Votel’s office in three of our cruisers in 2019,” Spurlock added. “Along with this purchase of the body camera system, the department has also adopted a formal policy that each employee must wear one while on duty with the department. This is a great system to give multiple views of law enforcement activity, which is important.”
According to Spurlock, the current in-car system gives three separate views and the body camera will add a fourth.
“The new system is set up where all cameras turn on when the officer activates the overhead lights,” he explained. “The system will also turn on if the patrol unit reaches a speed of 70 miles per hour, or it can be turned on remotely while not inside the patrol car.
“One last feature allows administration to use a pass-code and record after the fact, in the event something happens unexpectedly or the employee forgets to turn the system on,” Spurlock added. “Once activated, the system will record 30 seconds prior to the signal of the on button. With so many features, this is a great addition to our daily functions.”
“I personally feel that this is a great way to protect employees and civilians from any false claims and the body camera can be essential in prosecution of criminal cases,” Spurlock said.
“Prosecutors are fortunate to have multiple sources of revenue available for law enforcement investment. Among these sources are criminal asset forfeiture funds and bond forfeiture fund,” Votel noted. “As a prosecutor, I believe it is sound investment to provide local law enforcement — especially smaller departments with more limited budgets — the tools they need to serve our communities well. My compliments to Chief Spurlock and the Village of Camden for recognizing the need for cruiser and body cameras, and for effectively implementing those assets as part of local police protection.”
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr.