‘This thing’s one-stop-shop’: Kerrville Police Department equipped with new, state of the art body cameras


The cameras will automatically start recording when an officer runs, turns on their lights or gets into a struggle.

Kerrville police receive new body cameras. Sourced by Kens5.com

KERRVILLE, Texas — A Hill Country police department is equipping its officers with state of the art body camera technology.

The cameras will automatically start recording when an officer runs, turns on their lights or gets into a struggle.

KENS 5 set out to learn how they work.

“This thing’s one-stop shop,” said Officer Michael Reyes of the Kerrville Police Department. “Back in the day, the body camera was just a body camera. Now, I can take pictures with this. You can also scan driver’s licenses and attach them to a case.”

Kerrville Police Department’s new EOS by Utility™ body cameras look just like a cell phone that’s tucked away in their vest.

In the past, Kerrville officers could lose critical footage should their body cameras fall off. This new design won’t let that happen.

“It’s embedded inside the uniform, it’s mounted on a plate,” explained Jonathan Lamb, Community Services and Public Information Sergeant with Kerrville PD. “There’s nothing to dislodge, there’s nothing to come loose during a foot pursuit or a struggle where the camera can fall off, so that concern is eliminated totally.”

Officers can manually turn on the cameras, but they don’t always have to. There are several triggers that will activate them, such as when an officer turns on their lights or when they start to run.

“If the officer’s in a struggle or a fight, that camera’s gonna come on…If an officer goes down [for 15 seconds], we immediately know all across the formation,” said Lamb, who explained how the officer’s GPS location will also be sent out. 

Another feature can create a digital ring around a crime scene. When an officer enters the location, their body camera will automatically activate.

“It lets the officer work on the task at hand rather than worrying about, is my camera activated and recording this interaction?” he added.

Soon, all officers will have censors on their gun holsters. When they draw their weapon, their team will be notified and the camera will turn on.

“When the camera is activated, it will go back and capture two minutes prior to whatever triggered that camera to be activated,” said Lamb.

Officers report better sound and video quality, and easier access to footage when they’re writing police reports at the jail. The video on-demand allows them to playback the body camera footage to add more detailed information.

Kerrville Police also replaced their in-car camera systems with ROCKET by Utility™ that works in conjunction with the body cameras. When an officer unlocks the in-car rifle rack or activates their sirens, their body camera will turn on.

“We do the public’s business, so what we do is public business,” said Lamb. “I think the technology we’re leveraging to protect the officers and protect the community works to everyone’s advantage.”

Garland Crabtree, a member of Kerrville’s Citizens on Patrol who moved to the Hill Country four years ago from the Houston area, says he is comforted knowing his police officers are using the same technology that’s deployed in the big cities.

“You’d think in any situation where police officers are going to be called, they’re coming in with the best equipment that’s available,” said Crabtree. “They also got the training for it.”

In a monthly meeting among members of Kerrville Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association, Crabtree says the police chief demonstrated the new cameras. 

“They’re looking at a police dog,” said Crabtree. “Kerrville hasn’t had one in quite a while. A body camera is just another piece of a puzzle to stay current.”