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Campbell police get new tech

CAMPBELL — New cameras, hardware and software have been installed in the Campbell Police Department’s six regularly used vehicles.

Body cameras and car cameras will sync, allowing for what police Chief Pat Kelly said is “complete transparency.”

The idea for the technology upgrade came after a committee called CP and Me was formed by Mayor Nick Phillips. The group includes Phillips, Kelly, clergy members and Campbell residents.

“What I really heard out of all the meetings is” about transparency, Kelly said.

The techology, from the company Axon, allows easier access to footage after a traffic stop or any time the cameras are in use.

Mike Romeo, who handles technology for the city, explained the footage is saved to “the cloud” — software and services that run on the internet. The heart and brain of the system in each of the equipped cars is in the vehicle trunk.

“We went through the process of finding the best fit” of a program for the department, Romeo said.

A main focus was to ensure there would be an efficient way to store video, which can get costly and take up a lot of space, Romeo said. Each car has a router that is connected to the department’s server at the station.

Officers use this feature in the field, Romeo said, which is more time-efficient because they don’t have to go back to the station. Instead, officers can continue to patrol the road immediately after they close an incident from the laptop in their car.

Detectives or the chief can look at the camera footage as soon as it is saved to the cloud if an officer doesn’t go back to the office right away.

When the officers are at the end of their shift, they perform their closing duties with the software and end their day, Romeo said.

A PRIORITY

To fund the technology upgrade, city council paid $58,000, which included equipping the vehicles with the cameras, software and hardware. An additional $30,000 in grant funds went toward body cameras.

Phillips said first responders are a priority of council and administration.

“We’re always looking out, making sure our police have the equipment and supplies they need to do their job to the best of their ability,” he said. “These cameras are another piece of much-needed equipment.”

The department has a TruNarc, which is a device that detects an unknown substance while it is in a bag. All the officer has to do is hold the subtance up to the machine and it will detect what it is.

Kelly said that is important, especially if people have dangerous fentanyl and carfentanil in a car or on them.

The additional measure is a relief, officer Chris Carson said. “It keeps us all safe” when handling a substance, he said.

Kelly said the equipment stays at the department, but if other agencies need to utilize it, that is no problem.

Both Carson and Romeo said the TruNarc is 98 to 99 percent accurate.

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