MPD adds new eye
POLICE CAR CAMERAS – Meridian Assistant Police Chief Keith McCary holds one of several video cameras his department bought and plans to install in police cars by the end of November. The Meridian Police Department used grant money to buy the cameras. Photo by Carisa McCain/The Meridian Star
By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
Oct. 28, 2002
Meridian's assistant police chief said four new in-car video cameras should be installed in police department patrol cars by the end of November.
Keith McCary said video and audio captured by the cameras will be "another witness" in the courtroom. Cameras will be mounted in police cars; police also will be able to take them out of the cars.
The cameras cost about $3,800 each and were purchased with money from a federal Law Enforcement Block Grant. They will record audio and video on standard VHS tape.
In the past, the MPD has used block grants to purchase such equipment as bullet-proof vests, digital cameras and other law enforcement training tools.
McCary said the MPD will use two other similar grants to purchase eight more cameras giving the department 12 new video cameras for patrol cars by the first of the year.
Detective Deano Harper said he likes the idea of being able to video tape crime scenes and monitor routine traffic stops.
Harper said the cameras also cut down on the liability of the officers.
Before the cameras arrive and before police use them, McCary said, the MPD will train officers how to operate them properly.
The new cameras will replace three older-model in-car video systems the MPD now uses. The old cameras, McCary said, will go to the department's K-9 division.