Camden County police waiting for the new GPS-enabled body cameras before buying

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One hundred officers patrolling Camden, New Jersey, could get body cameras by the end of summer. The chief is holding out for newer, more advanced models.

Camden County Police Department Chief Scott Thomson says his team has tested wearable cameras, but they haven’t found the right one.

“We will continue to do so until we can find the right product to fit in with the technology that we have that will also give us the ability to meet the expectations that we have for the piece of equipment but from the public as well,” Thomson said.

Thomson says the force already has a major investment in technology and wants the second generation of the cameras. “We have GPS devices in our squad cars. We have 120 cameras up in the city. We want to make sure this is an additional layer into the platform we have established and not a stand-alone system.”

The chief says the second-generation cameras have better battery life and provide clearer pictures. There’s one more feature he wants — remote control.

“If an officer did not have time to activate the camera but just went into action, the moment we started to hear it unfold from their radio signals we would have the ability to remotely turn on that camera, which when turned on would jump back a minute in time so that we wouldn’t miss anything that led to the incident that we wanted to capture.”

Thomson says that remote option would also help activate cameras if an officer is incapacitated. The chief says he’s working with vendors and is hopeful they will buy about 100 cameras by the end of summer.

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