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MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – In effort to keep people safe and hold officers accountable, a police department is upgrading technology.
Milledgeville Police Officers say they want the newest and best technology to capture everything possible.
Residents say the changes make them feel less anxious when interacting with police.
“We need to be able to capture evidence, so it’s video and audio evidence. Not only that, but it can protect officers, too – from false complaints. It keeps officers on their toes, as well, to make sure they’re doing things correctly,” Sergeant Gene McKinney with the Milledgeville Police Department said.
Milledgeville Police Department isn’t new to having body cameras.
“We’ve had some trouble with them, here and there. We had some software issues,” he said.
Police say it was time to upgrade to ensure their safety and the public’s.
“Kind of like an accountability for both the police officer and the person being pulled over. They have to respect each other mutually,” Marina Williams, who attends college in Milledgeville, said.
According to McKinney, the microphone in the camera has a dual purpose. When activating the new body camera, the sound captured isn’t just ambient noise. It’s integrated into the video.
“These body cameras are actually integrated into the radio system, so not only is it a body camera, but actually serves as your mic so you can talk into the radio using this,” he said.
McKinney says there’s a 30 second buffering technique. Basically, when officers activate the camera it captures the 30 seconds before hitting record.
“So people can see there’s some evidence occurring before you had to activate whatever triggered you to activate your camera,” McKinney said.
Georgia is a public records state, so all the body camera video is available to the public, upon request.
McKinney says at the end of officer’s shift they upload footage to the computer for access.
Upgrading the body cameras cost about $150,000.