Gardendale police officers will get body cams

Gardendale officers getting body cams

GARDENDALE, Ala. (WBRC) - The Gardendale Police Department will soon get body cameras.

“You know years ago when this technology was first coming out nobody really wanted it,” said Chief Mike Walker. “As we’ve gotten used to using it and seeing the value of it, I believe most of the officers, if not all, want them now.”

Gardendale used to have the cameras. However, officers say there were significant hurdles. That included things like the short battery life of the older models, and the complexity of storing video.

“It was more of a task than we anticipated,” said Walker.

In fact, the chief says you basically needed a full-time person dedicated to managing the video. "And that full-time person was usually me. Having to keep up with it, which it was really more than I could handle,” said Walker.

With the new cameras the video will be cloud based, with fewer man hours involved.

Having been in both situations, Chief Walker said he definitely thinks there are more advantages to having cameras, than not.

“I think the general public expects the police to carry body cams,” said Walker. "For us it brings better citizen and officer accountability. In our interactions, if everybody sees the camera is there and it is on they are going to act more civilly,” said Walker.

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