The Lubbock Police Department is now using body cameras to record officer interactions with the public.
"They record all of my traffic stops and any dealings with the public that I may have. For me that means if I'm ever accused of any kind of misconduct, anything like that, we got it all on video and audio and I can be immediately cleared," said LPD Officer Brooks Jennings.
"Now there's no questioning who I stop because there's a good picture of their face. There's no questioning what they were speeding for or why they violated the law because they told me. Everything I have to say on the traffic stop is recorded so there's zero questioning it," Jennings said.
The new cameras are the size of a small cell phone. They clip onto the officer's shirt. They're so lightweight, they don't even hinder motorcycle officers as they ride.
"I literally have to flip a switch to turn it on, do my stop, and flip a switch to turn it off, so it's not in the way. It doesn't add anything else to my job," said Officer Jennings. "I forget that it's there other than turning it on and off."
The Motor Division officers have been using these cameras since March.
"We tend to think it's a pretty good thing. It's more about safety and that kind of thing than anything else. It's a good safety device for me to have," said Jennings.
One of the first times Jennings used the new device was after an accident. He was on his way back to the police department when a truck changed lanes and collided with him.
"Immediately I could show on my video the damage that was done to my motorcycle and the damage done to the subject's truck," he said. "The first thing out of his mouth was I'm sorry I hit you. Well if later he comes back and says I had the right away and the officer hit me, well again, it's already admitted. It's already all on video and we're done with that."
The cameras are only turned on after a traffic stop is made, so they didn't record the accident itself.
"If we're talking with the public in any way, shape or form they should be on; and of course any contact I have with vehicles on traffic stops or even pedestrians or anything like that... If I'm talking to the public it's going to be on."
Jennings believes the new camera will help him do his job better and stay safer on the street.
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