DODGE CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – Many police departments across the country, including Wichita police, are now using body cameras while on the beat. You can add the Dodge City Police Department to that list, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Justice Department.
“Right now, there is policy stating that they will turn them on when they have contact with citizens,” said Jerad Goertzen, deputy chief of the Dodge City Police Department.”
Body cameras are now standard gear for Dodge police officers. All 41 officers on the force started wearing the cameras this week.
The department says the cameras will help provide additional evidence during a trial, but their purpose goes beyond that.
“Part of our goal with these cameras is to be able to show citizens and anybody else what it is that we’re doing so we’re not hiding anything,” said Goertzen.
Footage from the cameras is automatically uploaded to a cloud storage system
The department says people involved in an incident caught on camera can access the footage by requesting it from the police chief.
“I hope it builds a relationship and lets them know what we’re saying we’re doing, we’re doing,” said Goertzen. “For the officers, also, who there are complaints that come in and they’re not always accurate, and we can look at those videos and say, you know, the officer did nothing wrong and was acting in accordance with policy.”
The department hopes the use of body cameras will improve their relationship with the community. They’re meant to increase transparency and help hold officers accountable for their actions
The U.S. Justice Department also provided grants for body cameras to police departments in Kansas City, and Wyandotte County.