Police officers in the City of Anadarko are now equipped with body-worn cameras.
Chief Tracy Roles started at Anadarko Police Department in December.
“One of the first things that I found out is that we did not have body-worn cameras,” he said.
Roles made it a top priority to get some.
The department applied for a grant through the Oklahoma Municipal Assurance Group and was awarded $10,000 dollars to buy the cameras. With that money, Roles was able to purchase seven body-worn cameras along with the software and computer system needed to operate the program. No taxpayer money was spent.
On Friday, on-duty Anadarko officers started wearing the body cameras.
“It’s very, very important to have a police department that is open and honest with the people that it’s protecting and serving,” said Roles.
At the beginning of each shift, officers will grab a charged body camera and put it on. At the end of their shift, they will dock it back on the charger, which automatically loads all the video into the system. Video will be saved for 180 days before they erase. Selected clips can be saved indefinitely. No clips can be deleted, not even by administration, according to Roles.
He said it is now a policy that officers are required to wear the body-worn cameras.
“It gives that extra layer of protection of the public because we are being transparent. We can’t hide behind these cameras,” he said.
His goal is to eventually get a body camera for all 17 officers.