Ohio department gets grant for body cameras

The federal grant will fund the purchase of 36 body cameras for the Brook Park police department

Beth Mlady

BROOK PARK, Ohio — At its June 9 caucus, Brook Park City Council expressed support for the purchase of 36 body cameras for the police department.

The legislation is expected to be approved during the June 16 regular council meeting. Total cost will be $79,705, of which $69,000 will come from a U.S. Department of Justice federal grant.

“The body-worn cameras will be an enhancement to our current dash cameras,” said Police Chief Thomas Dickel. “It will show more aspects of what our officers are doing when they’re out there.”

He expects to receive the cameras sometime in the next two months, with final installation to take another 30 days. A trainer will come to the police department to provide instruction to officers.

Councilman Jim Mencini asked how information captured on the cameras will be processed.

"It's recorded on the body camera itself," Dickel responded. "We take it back to the station and put it on a docking station. It uploads the video into our storage system that is on site. We're in complete control of that, and for evidentiary purposes, we need to be."

Councilman Tom Troyer asked under what conditions officers will activate the body cams.

"It's going to mirror exactly how we do the dash cameras at this time," Dickel said. "There will be specific calls that they'll be turned on for, and any other time the officer feels he needs to turn it on. It's designed to record the officers' interactions with the citizens when they respond to calls."

"I think you guys need them," Councilman Brian Poindexter said. "It's scary out there, and it's nice to have a little bit more protection for you."

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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