Local police departments expand their body cam capabilities ahead of Gov. DeWine announcement

Local police departments expand their body cam capabilities ahead of Gov. DeWine announcement

MIAMI VALLEY — Multiple Miami Valley police departments told News Center 7 they were exploring adding body cameras to their officers’ repertoire prior to Governor Mike DeWine announcing Wednesday, he wants every officer in Ohio outfitted with the gear.

After DeWine’s announcement, WHIO reached out to nearly two dozen police agencies, and also looked back at our past reporting to account for which area departments are and are not using the body-worn technology. We found many of the departments not using body cams currently use dash cameras and outfit officers with body-worn microphones.

Huber Heights Police and West Carrollton Police are two area departments that told News Center 7 they are currently exploring adding the technology.

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“The use of cameras, in car or body worn, is just one example of our department providing transparency to the public,” said Maureen Flaute, spokesperson for West Carrollton Police.

Englewood Police Department was among those who told WHIO it uses the cameras, calling them “invaluable.”

Riverside Police Department added it has used the technology for several years.

“We think it is a great idea for the state of Ohio to provide a funding means for every agency in the state to acquire body cameras and also the additional and costly data storage requirements that are associated with them,” said Maj. Adam Colon, Riverside Police Department.

Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer said his deputies wear them as well.

“It’s just an extra toll that thee deputies have to prove their cases and to prove that they’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing,” Fischer said Wednesday evening. It’s one of numerous steps touched on by Gov. DeWine Wednesday, Fischer said his department already has in place – as part of the department’s national accreditation.

He cautioned, though, some departments may face challenges incorporating the technology, along with some of the training outlined by Gov. DeWine Wednesday, if the state does not provide funding for the mandates.

“We’ve got smaller agencies – the villages – they’re not going to be able to afford these additional requirements,” he said.

News Center 7 also confirmed Beavercreek Police, Vandalia Police, Xenia Police use body cams.

The Miami Valley’s two largest agencies, Dayton Police and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, do not use the technology, but have said in the past costs were a factor. Miamisburg Police, Centerville Police, and Oakwood Public Safety do not currently use body cams.