Home Cameras Ohio State Highway Patrol testing body cameras, preparing to outfit all troopers

Ohio State Highway Patrol testing body cameras, preparing to outfit all troopers

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Body cameras will soon become part of the Ohio State Highway Patrol uniform.Ohio State Highway Patrol cruisers have had dash cameras for years, capturing a wide angle of traffic stops, but troopers have never been required to wear body cameras. In June, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Attorney General Dave Yost announced that as part of their police reform plan, the goal is for every police officer in Ohio to have a body camera. DeWine instructed Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Tom Stickrath and Col. Richard Fambro of the Ohio State Highway Patrol to begin outfitting troopers with body cameras.Troopers in Columbus have started testing camera systems.”Our troopers have been working in front of a camera for over 20 years now,” said Sgt. Nathan Dennis. “This is just another level of transparency and we welcome that. We don’t shy away from that.”There are more than 1,500 sworn troopers in Ohio. The state highway patrol told WLWT it is believed that roughly 1,400 will need body cameras.”What we do is a little bit more unique than some law enforcement agencies. We’re working along the highways, the roadways,” Dennis said. OSHP is seriously considering four models from Axon, WatchGuard, Panasonic and G-Tech. Each offers an integrated system for the trooper’s body camera and dash camera.The dashboard camera automatically starts recording once the body camera is turned on and vice versa.Some of the systems also offer a backseat camera that would record an arrestee. “It’s extremely important to have a system in place which when we turn our lights on to stop a vehicle, everything is already running. That’s one less thing that the trooper has to worry about,” Dennis said. “Some of the other features that these systems offer is once we activate our lights to stop a vehicle, all cameras will turn on.”During the testing process, troopers are wearing the cameras in the field and then reporting back what they think of the system.OSHP said it will not have an estimate cost on outfitting the force until it chooses one of the four camera models.Cincinnati police upgraded to a state-of-the-art Axon 3 body camera in the beginning of this year. For the department’s 1,000 officers to each receive a camera, the department is investing $24 million over the next decade.State officials are hoping more departments sign up for body cameras. DeWine and Yost are asking the state legislature to consider helping local departments cover the costs.”We’re not gonna flip a switch and one day wake up and everybody’s gonna have a camera,” said Yost. “There will be some places that don’t want to do it. There are going to be some places that it takes awhile.”The hope is that OSHP paves the way and leads by example to improve transparency and help rebuild trust.”Trust is critical,” he said. “If they don’t trust you, that’s when you have the problems.”

Body cameras will soon become part of the Ohio State Highway Patrol uniform.

Ohio State Highway Patrol cruisers have had dash cameras for years, capturing a wide angle of traffic stops, but troopers have never been required to wear body cameras.

In June, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Attorney General Dave Yost announced that as part of their police reform plan, the goal is for every police officer in Ohio to have a body camera. DeWine instructed Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Tom Stickrath and Col. Richard Fambro of the Ohio State Highway Patrol to begin outfitting troopers with body cameras.

Troopers in Columbus have started testing camera systems.

“Our troopers have been working in front of a camera for over 20 years now,” said Sgt. Nathan Dennis. “This is just another level of transparency and we welcome that. We don’t shy away from that.”

There are more than 1,500 sworn troopers in Ohio. The state highway patrol told WLWT it is believed that roughly 1,400 will need body cameras.

“What we do is a little bit more unique than some law enforcement agencies. We’re working along the highways, the roadways,” Dennis said.

OSHP is seriously considering four models from Axon, WatchGuard, Panasonic and G-Tech. Each offers an integrated system for the trooper’s body camera and dash camera.The dashboard camera automatically starts recording once the body camera is turned on and vice versa.

Some of the systems also offer a backseat camera that would record an arrestee.

“It’s extremely important to have a system in place which when we turn our lights on to stop a vehicle, everything is already running. That’s one less thing that the trooper has to worry about,” Dennis said. “Some of the other features that these systems offer is once we activate our lights to stop a vehicle, all cameras will turn on.”

During the testing process, troopers are wearing the cameras in the field and then reporting back what they think of the system.

OSHP said it will not have an estimate cost on outfitting the force until it chooses one of the four camera models.

Cincinnati police upgraded to a state-of-the-art Axon 3 body camera in the beginning of this year. For the department’s 1,000 officers to each receive a camera, the department is investing $24 million over the next decade.

State officials are hoping more departments sign up for body cameras. DeWine and Yost are asking the state legislature to consider helping local departments cover the costs.

“We’re not gonna flip a switch and one day wake up and everybody’s gonna have a camera,” said Yost. “There will be some places that don’t want to do it. There are going to be some places that it takes awhile.”

The hope is that OSHP paves the way and leads by example to improve transparency and help rebuild trust.

“Trust is critical,” he said. “If they don’t trust you, that’s when you have the problems.”



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