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Police in Goshen Township have implemented some new technology over the past week and now all police interactions with the public will be recorded on personal cameras.
They are commonly called body-worn cameras, or BWCs, and are small enough to clip to a tie or shirt. For the past week, officers with the Goshen Township Police Department have been wearing the cameras to document interactions with the public. They are now a permanent part of the uniform.
“We have eight cameras. Every officer who is on duty at any time should be wearing a camera,” said Corp. Nicholas Brent. “It’s mainly for records and training and just to make sure everyone is doing their job the way they’re supposed to.”
Not every department likes the cameras. Making national headlines, NYPD has been ordered by a court to wear them after allegations of racial profiling.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelley have resisted the cameras. Kelley suggested cameras could be problematic when police respond to domestic arguments or when someone wants to provide confidential information.
Brent doesn’t see those problems happening in Goshen Township. In fact, Brent said the cameras would help prevent the sorts of issues NYPD is dealing with.
“We can use it to go back and make sure that sort of thing they’re having concerns with aren’t happening here,” said Brent.
Many Goshen residents agree. Linda Vankirk and Vic Mauro said the cameras would help clear up any discrepancies when recounting events or interactions with police.
“It makes me feel comfortable because it’s not going to be he said/she said, and it’s going to be right there for everyone to see,” said Vankirk.
“They have proof of whether or not they actually did anything improper,” said Mauro.
The cameras cost about $47 each, which is much cheaper than dashboard mounted cameras.