CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – Penn State Police now have an extra tool to put on when suiting up.
As of 7 a.m., every officer was equipped with a body camera. This includes 159 police officers serving 22 campuses across the commonwealth.
Executive Deputy Chief of Police Wesley Sheets says receiving the devices, is an important step towards better policing.
“Equipping every officer with body cameras really enables University Police and Public Safety to be more transparent and accountable as part of our ongoing efforts to build stronger relationships with our communities,” said Sheets.
According to Sheets, the cameras feature multiple microphones to capture sound, and internal data storage to save video footage for later review.
“The recordings from each shift are retained for at least 180 days in Evidence.com. The time frame far exceeds the recommendation from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency which requires us to maintain those records for 60 days,” said Sheets.
Centre County’s district attorney Bernie Cantorna has been a huge advocate for the cameras.
“We actually have every local police agency now has a body-worn camera in Centre County… which we’re probably one of the few counties in the commonwealth that can say that,” said Cantorna.
According to Cantorna every police officer should wear one.
“The reason being is that when you go into court there’s not a question of what did or did not happen. It’s actually on video. In the criminal justice system if you don’t have the trust of the public, it really doesn’t operate.” said Cantorna.
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