Cameras help decipher between rumor and truth say Center police - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Cameras help decipher between rumor and truth say Center police

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

CENTER, TX (KTRE) – Police officers continue to use new technology in their work. The next time you talk to a Center Police officer, you could be on-camera. Big brother is recording suspects and protecting the public in very small packages.

"I love it," said Stephen Stroud, Center Police officer. "It's just like you have a witness with you."

They take you inside the life of a police officer. "This kind of brings you into the vehicle up to the window and what's being said," said Stroud. "What I see, it sees."

They're cameras as small as a Blue Tooth ear piece, helping decipher between rumor and truth.

"Maybe we've had a few rumors lately," admitted Center Police Chief Jim Albers. "I don't know what's starting them or where they're spreading."

They hope this stems the tide to those rumors. "Once the public realizes that we're all wearing them, they're going to watch coming in and making false accusations," said Stroud.

"When somebody makes an allegation that we're doing something grossly negligent or grossly wrong, yeah, I'm upset about it," said Albers. "Do I think we actually did? No, and after I look at the audio and video tape I know for sure."

Unlike patrol car cameras, officers have to turn the camera on as soon as they respond to a call. "It's just habit now," said Stroud. "I just reach up there and cut that camera on."

With this technology, it's no longer one person's word against another. "This shows us if the officer is doing something wrong," said Albers. "It gives us a video recording of what's said from both sides. It gives us the protection of being able to know exactly what happened."

Already at least one allegation against an officer was proven false by the camera and the officers like that protection. "Absolutely," said Stroud. "I feel a lot safer with it."

The cameras cost a little over $100. Center Police Chief Jim Albers says it's worth every penny.

Copyright 2010 KTRE. All rights reserved.

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