PROSPERITY — The Prosperity Police Department has acquired eight new body cameras. Through testing of various cameras, the Prosperity Police Department has purchased WatchGuard VISTA body cameras.
“Before this, we had been experimenting with different body cameras and these will make a great replacement for what we were utilizing. Now that we’ve got the cameras, we’re just waiting for the software to come in,” Chief David Beddingfield said.
He added that Lt. Harry Bodiford tested out different cameras and recommended the WatchGuard VISTA cameras.
“The WatchGuard VISTA cameras that we’re going with are a proven system. The large majority of the patrol cars in the state of South Carolina are equipped with WatchGuard cameras. Two of our vehicles are equipped with WatchGuard and they are one of the highest quality cameras you can get in a patrol vehicle,” Bodiford said.
He said that the WatchGuard cameras had a longer battery life that would withstand a 12 hour shift, allowing officers to pre-record events and be on a constant hour loop recording.
“Some of the other cameras had faults that we didn’t really like. There were some wires that were bridging the gap between the camera and the hard drive, whereas with the WatchGuard VISTA, the hard drive is all one piece. If you have an iPhone or an Android phone, your charger at some point breaks. With the WatchGuard VISTA there were really no vulnerabilities to the camera itself,” Bodiford said.
Another deciding factor for the Prosperity Police Department was with the current ballistic vests the officers wear. The body cameras are able to fit more securely and are less likely to fall off in the event of a physical altercation or strenuous activities.
“We talked to several other departments who have been using WatchGuard, and they have been thoroughly pleased with it, and that was another driving point as well, fitting our application here in Prosperity,” Bodiford said.
Compared to the cameras the department is currently using, Beddingfield hopes these new cameras will be utilized to their fullest potential in dealing with the community’s concerns.
“One of the biggest complaints that we deal with against officers is generally that the officer was rude. In the cases we’ve seen, it’s the complete opposite. This is just another tool to aid us when we are dealing with those type of complaints,” Beddingfield said.
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.