FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — The Fishers Police Department is taking another step toward transparency by outfitting its officers with body cameras.
The department says the cameras on FPD squad cars have helped out a lot. Now it’s time to cover Fishers police officers and the public with even more security.
Soon, Fishers police officers are going to hear a “beep” as they turn on their cameras and walk out the door, letting them know that they and the people they interact with are going to be held accountable.
“We’re seeing most agencies are either implemented, implementing, or in the process of doing research to bring this technology to their agencies,” retired Police Chief Scott Haug said.
Fishers police say they’re not falling behind in the release of these body cams, they just wanted to know what’s best.
“Because it’s an enormous cost to our taxpayers,” Fishers Police Chief Ed Gebhart explained. “I think the proper thing to do is when you step, you make sure you step for the right reasons.”
These body cams are made to be simple; users just push a button and it starts recording. Gebhart said it needs to be simple so officers don’t need to worry about too many extra steps. It should be easy, but it’s hard to promise every officer is going to activate their camera when it’s needed.
“I can’t make that guarantee because our job evolution doesn’t allow me to say that,” Gebhart said. “There are circumstances that I hope that the body-worn cameras are on and there are circumstances where they’re not going to be on. I hope there’s good reasons by that. But as a person that came up through the ranks and worked the street, I can’t answer that.”
Gebhart isn’t worried about his officers, saying they haven’t had issues with the current technology.
“I believe that our officers make great decisions,” Gebhart said. “I think that these cameras just bolster those decisions and help them be the professionals that they already are. We have in-car cameras in every car already. It’s not new to us. I think it’s the next step in just being transparent and working with the community.”
As far as storage space goes, the department doesn’t know exactly how much footage they’ll be taking in, so they won’t know how far back their archives can go.