Local troopers to get body cams this winter; state rollout already underway

MIAMI VALLEY — Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers serving the majority of the Miami Valley will begin wearing body cameras in January, with the entire state being outfitted by May.

“The Patrol has been using in-car cameras for decades, but as technology continues to advance, body cameras have become an essential tool for policing,” said Governor DeWine. “By investing in these cameras, we’re not only giving our troopers the tools they need to better protect the public, but we’re also giving the public another reason to have confidence in the professionalism of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.”

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The state has started installing the 1,500 body cameras and 1,221 new in-car systems this month in the Columbus district of the highway patrol.

The Piqua district will begin getting the new cameras in January, the state announced Tuesday. The Piqua district serves Montgomery, Miami, Clark, Greene, Preble, Darke, Mercer, Champaign, Logan, Shelby and Auglaize counties. Troopers in Warren, Butler and Clinton counties will begin getting the body cameras next month.

The new body cameras will link with the in-car systems to ensure that all the cameras will record simultaneously when lights and sirens are activated.

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“Today’s announcement is another example of our commitment to transparency,” said Col. Richard Fambro. “Our troopers have been working in front of a camera for over 20 years. The addition of body worn cameras is an enhancement to our current video capabilities.”

The cost of the camera package, which includes equipment, storage, installation, maintenance, training and other funding is about $15 million over the next five years. It’s being funded through the patrol’s operating budget.