ALBANY, Ore. -- The Albany Police Department added personal body cameras July 16, and they will be used alongside the dashboard cameras they’ve had in their vehicles for years.
The body cameras will capture every interaction of a police officer in uniform who is in an enforcement role. The department bought 32 cameras for $50,000.
Police Captain Jeff Hinrichs believes these cameras will tell the story better than the police reports and testimony can.
"Officers do a great job of trying to document what they’ve done and express that in court, but a picture -- the old saying -- is worth a thousand words and in this case you have video and audio that is helping paint the picture of what happened,” Hinrichs said.
Hinrichs said the response from officers was mixed two years ago when they started looking at body cameras, but after they implemented them the majority are supportive of it because it gives them a voice.
"I was a little apprehensive at first just 'cause it’s ... you kind of feel it’s like reality TV, its recording all the time," Officer Michael Norlander said. "But after a first couple days it’s ... you just do what you do. It's just there, and you have to have it, and it’s a really useful tool, so I like it.”
Norlander said body camera video is helpful because it shows things he might’ve missed at first view.
The body cameras are synced with the dashboard cams to capture a better picture of what is going on. They automatically turn on when the car’s emergency lights are activated.
The information is downloaded into the system and can be viewed at any time.