Central Police Department Embraces Cutting-Edge Technology Thanks to Funding

Summary

1. Thanks to funding from the city and grants, the Central Police Department is upgrading to the latest technology available, including body cameras, car cameras, vests, spike strips, tasers, and weapons.

2. Chief Roger Corcoran emphasizes that the new technology aims to enhance transparency with the public and ensure the safety of officers and citizens.

3. The body cameras communicate with other equipment, activating automatically when officers draw their tasers or guns, thereby saving time and holding officers accountable.

4. Officer Tim Gilbert highlights that the new technology simplifies their jobs, allowing them to focus more on the situations at hand and potentially save lives.

5. The new equipment, which costs several hundred thousand dollars, includes a five-year subscription fee of over $40,000 per year, which Chief Corcoran considers a worthwhile investment for the safety and effectiveness of the police force.

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When I sat down with Officer Tim Gilbert of the Central Police Department, the excitement in his voice was palpable. The department is undergoing a transformative upgrade, thanks to substantial funding from the city and grant money. By the end of the month, officers will be equipped with the latest technology: body cameras, car cameras, vests, spike strips, tasers, and weapons. As Officer Gilbert shared his thoughts, it became clear that these changes are more than just about having new gadgets—they are about reshaping how the department operates and interacts with the community.

“We definitely wanna be transparent to the public and I wanna keep our officers and our citizens safe,” Chief Roger Corcoran had said in a recent briefing. His words echoed in Officer Gilbert’s recounting of the benefits of the new technology. Chief Corcoran is particularly enthusiastic about the new body cameras, which he believes will play a crucial role in maintaining transparency and safety. He explained, “If one of our officers is in a pursuit, or he’s in a bad situation, could be a hostage situation, or anything of that nature. If he’s hurt somewhere and the camera’s on, I can actually remote into his camera, and I can see what he sees and hear what he hears.”

The interconnectedness of the new equipment is a significant leap forward. For instance, the body cameras automatically activate when an officer draws a taser or a gun. This immediate response not only records critical moments but also holds officers accountable. As Officer Gilbert put it, “It takes away going from the hands-on aspect to going straight to deadly force situations and it just gives us more tools to work with so we can help save somebody else’s life versus having to fight with them and hurt ourselves or hurt them.”

Officer Gilbert went on to explain the practical benefits of these advancements. The camera systems also turn on when police car lights are activated, ensuring that every moment is captured and uploaded to their database as soon as they connect to Wi-Fi. This system even indicates when a gun or taser is discharged, providing real-time data that can be crucial in both operational and investigative contexts. Additionally, the technology communicates with license plate readers, which can help locate stolen vehicles or identify individuals wanted for felonies and even missing persons.

Chief Corcoran is particularly proud of this feature, noting, “It’s not only stolen vehicles, it’s people that’s wanted for felonies, it can be a missing person, anything that’s in NCIC will alert them.” This integration of various technologies into a cohesive system represents a significant stride towards modernizing the Central Police Department’s capabilities.

Of course, these advancements come with a hefty price tag. The new equipment costs several hundred thousand dollars, with an additional annual subscription fee of over $40,000 for the next five years. However, Chief Corcoran firmly believes the investment is justified. “If it brings home one officer, they’ve paid for themselves. I’m not gonna buy cheap, I’m gonna buy the best and I’m gonna buy the good stuff because they are important to me, all my officers, and the public. We’re gonna try to do our best to keep the public safe in any way we can,” he asserted.

As our conversation drew to a close, Officer Gilbert reflected on what these upgrades mean for the department and the community they serve. “It’s a game-changer,” he said. “Having this technology means we can do our jobs more effectively and safely. We can focus on the situation at hand without worrying about manually activating cameras or missing crucial moments. It’s about working smarter and ensuring that everyone—officers and citizens alike—goes home safe at the end of the day.”

The infusion of advanced technology into the Central Police Department, made possible by city funding and grant money, marks a new era in law enforcement for the community. These upgrades are not just about modernizing equipment; they are about fostering transparency, accountability, and safety. As Officer Gilbert and Chief Corcoran have shown, the benefits of this new technology extend far beyond the immediate convenience, promising a safer, more efficient, and more transparent future for all.

Emily Johnson

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