CLINTON — The Clinton Police Department is ready to implement a state-of-the-art body camera and data storage system in the coming months.
Partnering with Axon Enterprises, formerly known as TASER International, the CPD is set to debut the body camera technology for its on-duty officers to wear on their persons, as well as rolling out a new in-car camera setup “in an effort to be more transparent to the community,” according to CPD Chief Kevin Gyrion.
The Clinton City Council last year authorized the department to proceed with the implementation, setting a precedent for the department to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to transparency and data storage and filing.
“This all-around improves our efficiency and improves our contact with citizens,” Gyrion said. “We want a system up in place that is the best possible system we can get. We want the best possible system, and I think we got that.”
Axon representative Liz MacGregor was on hand at a recent briefing to go into further detail regarding the cameras and video evidence storing platforms. MacGregor travels the country, serving departments such as Clinton to inform communities about what the technology can accomplish.
The “product evangelist” agreed with Gyrion, highlighting that the platforms will allow for a more clearly and concisely operated entity in the CPD.
“The face of policing has changed,” MacGregor said. “(Axon aims) to create a platform that allows this agency, and many others across the country, to effectively manage that video evidence that is taken in, and to leverage it for a safer community.”
The cameras themselves are near-military grade, according to MacGregor, and can survive harsh physical trauma which may come in the line of duty. In almost every case, MacGregor explained, video evidence is able to be successfully obtained even after receiving damage.
Clinton County Attorney Mike Wolf applauded the CPD for moving forward with not just the body cameras, but the storage and filing technology that comes with it. Wolf said that 90 percent of the work with the video evidence occurs after it is actually recorded, so the package selected by Gyrion and his colleagues will no doubt be a benefit.
“I commend (Gyrion and his staff) for the work that they’ve done to systematically implement this,” Wolf said. “It addresses a lot of needs...to undertake this takes a company like Axon because of the overwhelming storage issue...I think this has been well-planned and very professional from the City Council to the administration and the officers themselves.”