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RPD acquires in-car police cameras

Watch Guard in-car video systems have been installed in five Richmond Police Department cruisers, with one to be installed in a 2011 Chevy Tahoe soon-to-be purchased from the Kansas Highway Patrol. The video system records video in front of the car and the backseat, along with audio. The city purchased the system for $54,325 through a five-year lease-purchase agreement that includes maintenance updates. (Photo by JoEllen Black/Richmond News)

By JoEllen Black/Richmond News

on Dec. 11 on new wireless cameras that recently have been installed in five or six Richmond Police patrol cars. The sixth video system will be installed soon into a 2011 Chevy Tahoethat the city will purchase from the Kansas Highway Patrol.

The $54,325 lease/purchase deal over five years was one of the items in the 2013 fiscal budget to “modernize” the department, according to City Administrator Ron Brohammer.

Each patrol cruiser has two cameras – one placed in front to see the road ahead and one in the back seat to view apprehended suspects.

Richmond Police Chief Chad Burnine said officers only need to select their name from the menu to log in to the video system in the cruiser.

“Any time they turn on the lights, have speeds of 80 miles per hour or release the shotgun rack, the camera automatically turns on,” Burnine said. “It also turns on when it detects a crash.”

The video system, Watchguard 4RE, also has an “after the fact” feature that goes back a minute before an event, like a traffic stop, and records the whole incident.

Unlike the fuzzy video seen in Crime Stopper segments, the video is sharp.

“It’s high definition, the video is amazing,” Burnine told the council. “It’s like watching Monday Night Football.”

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