Dash cameras out, body cameras in for Plant City PD - FOX 13 News

Dash cameras out, body cameras in for Plant City PD

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Image shows new body camera to be worn by Plant City Police officers Image shows new body camera to be worn by Plant City Police officers
PLANT CITY (FOX 13) -

On May 7, Plant City Police Officer Justin Polk arrested a suspect on suspicion of driving without a license.

The suspect screamed that Polk was being heavy-handed.

"Hey hey hey, look, he's jacking me up," the suspect screamed.

"It's called resist(ing), and I am allowed to control my arrestee," Polk responded.

Afterwards, the suspect did not file a claim of mistreatment.

If he had, Plant City Police internal affairs investigator Tray Towles said it would have been open and shut, thanks to the video camera Officer Polk had on his chest.

"That very clearly shows our officer was simply escorting him, and he took it to that next level of resistance," said Sgt. Tray Towles.

Officer Polk had one of Plant City's new test cameras, as they prepare to outfit all 40 patrolmen with HD video.

They're required to turn it on every time they step out of their car or start a chase.

Suspects can easily see it.

"If they know it's there, they're less likely to do something they shouldn't do," said Towles.

Police say allbody camm videos will be saved for a month unless it's saved longer for a trial.

Videos of people will be public record on a wider scale than ever before.

"There are a lot of concerns with privacy," said Towles. "People should be prepared for a world where that level of transparency is necessary."

Police say the evidence it collects will be worth it.

But it also works the other way; any officer caught on cam doing something wrong or destroying a tape will face charges.

"Everything that's recorded on this device is evidence until we say otherwise," said Towles.

The body cameras will replace their ageing fleet of $5,000, dash-mounted cameras.

They will cost $300 apiece and will be paid for by a $13,000 grant.

Departments in Orlando and Daytona Beach are already using them.

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