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Badges and Body Cams for Pottsville Police

POTTSVILLE -- Some police officers now have another eye that will help them fight crime in Schuylkill County.

The Pottsville Police Department unveiled body cams that they believe will help prevent crime and provide more evidence in court.

The body cams were just given to officers as part of a pilot program in Pottsville last week.

The Pottsville police chief tells Newswatch 16 his department is, "among the first" in Schuylkill County to use this type of technology.

The cameras will now be part of the uniforms for the Pottsville Police Department going on their daily routine.

Police Chief Richard Wojiechowsky tells Newswatch 16 the body cams are all about public safety.

"The regular citizens, the victims that we deal with, the district attorney's office, the public defender's office, and the courts will all benefit from the data we are recording," said the chief.

After receiving a federal grant that pays for more than half of the body cams, the Pottsville police chief is hoping to equip all of his 24 officers.

The body cams have to be manually activated by an officer. Each one includes a microphone officers can use to communicate with each other.

The new body camera has a front-facing screen which police believe might stop a person from getting into a confrontation with an officer.

"People are very acutely aware that when they are on screen, they react differently, so again, that is a mutually beneficial factor for police and the public," said Chief Wojiechowsky.

The body cams will be able to see, hear, and record everything in front of the officer, which can be very useful in court.

"When we handle a case, people get to see what it is like from beginning to end for court proceedings down the road, and people get to see a perspective of what an officer deals with on a daily basis," Pottsville poLice Sgt. Mark O'Toole said.

Some people in downtown Pottsville have already seen the body cams in use.

Shawn Grant believes the body cams will provide video proof of any situation instead of word of mouth.

"It leaves people a more accurate depiction of what transpired, so I think it's a good thing because there are good cops out here."

Not every officer is equipped with a body cam as this program is still in its beginning phase. The Pottsville police chief hopes to have every officer using one in the near future.

2 comments

  • Nice Try

    Sounds like a red herring. These wont provide accountability unless they operate 100% of the time and can not be shut off or tampered with by the officer. It has been shown time and time again that no one can be trusted especially police officers.

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