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Government

Entire Newton Police Department Now Equipped With Body-Worn Cameras

newton_police_body_camera.jpg
Newton Police Department
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All Newton police officers and supervisors will now be outfitted with a body-worn camera during official duties.

Newton police officers and supervisors are now using body cameras to record their interactions with the public during official duties.

The city used a $34,335 grant from the Kansas Governor’s Grants Program to buy 25 H-D cameras and related equipment.

Newton Police Chief Eric Murphy says outfitting officers with body-worn cameras will enhance transparency for the department.

"The courts have put a lot more emphasis on the credibility of an officer’s testimony if there’s video to be able to back up what he’s saying," Murphy says. "So us having this available for that is invaluable."

Murphy says the use of video monitoring will also help improve police-community relations and reduce citizen complaints regarding harassment, racial bias and use of force.

"When somebody calls and complains about an officer, we can pull up the video of that transaction that the officer had with a member of the community and see exactly what transpired there," he says.

The body cameras integrate with the department’s existing in-car video system and evidence management library.

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Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar.

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