Published July 04, 2011
One Mississippi police department has only five officers on its force, but nothing gets by them thanks to a small piece of technology recording every traffic stop and legal encounter.
The Walls, Miss., police department is one of a few in the country equipping officers with tiny clip-on video cameras that attach to the front pocket of an officer’s uniform. The cameras are no bigger than a pack of gum and they hold a small memory card, capable of recording hours of evidence.
"I call it my silent partner,” said Walls Police Chief Gary Boisseau. “We're a small department, there's usually one maybe two of us on at a time and it's good to have that extra set of ears -- that extra set of eyes out there.”
Boisseau’s force has been using the cameras for the past year. Since then, he says, the ‘second set of eyes’ has helped in the quick prosecution of court cases.
That translates into saving the town’s employees time and court costs.
"We had a DUI stop several months ago and this person denied everything that happened,” Boisseau said. “After watching that video – [that person] honestly did not know what happened that day because they had so much to drink. They pled guilty before it ever went to court."
The cameras have never been challenged in court. Similar to a dash camera, it documents the stop in its entirety. Boisseau has a policy that officers cannot turn the cameras on and off. Once they are recording they must continue to roll.
And Boisseau tells Fox News it gives him security. "It gives me peace of mind knowing -- exactly what happened during one encounter is documented and out there for anybody who wants to see it," he said.
The small aluminum cameras are lightweight and cost about $60.