Harlingen Police Department receives new body cameras and equipment


Harlingen police receive new body cameras. Sourced from ValleyCentral

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A new set of eyes are now helping with patrols and for officers with the Harlingen Police Department.

Harlingen PD received new body cameras which will help protect the community, especially in situations where seconds matter the most.

“It’s just a higher level of officer safety out there,” Sgt. Larry Moore with the Harlingen Police Department said.

New enhanced equipment is taking patrols to a new level with the Harlingen PD.

Cameras by the company Utility, come with GPS tracking, live video looking in real time and an officer down feature that will alert the department of an emergency.

Administrators say the original equipment was about five years old and needed to be upgraded.

There are 120 body cameras, and 45 in-car video with sensors.

“When an officer is patrolling in a patrol car and he exists that patrol car his body camera automatically activates so we don’t lose any of that video we don’t have to worry about them turning it on turning it off is automated,” Sgt. Moore said.

“Seconds, split seconds matter, life and death this is now taking a lot of that, did I do this? It’s going to court am I going to be able to get to tell my side of the story,” K9 officer Steven Benitez said.

Officers are not allowed to alter or delete video and information is stored.

“Whatever we get, whatever we’re in, whatever situation we’re in it’s recorded it’s documented and it’s here,” Benitez said.

The video comes clear with full audio and when reviewing footage, police can take still pictures, pause or place situations into different categories.

“It’s absolutely crucial and phenomenal for what we’re doing,” Benitez said.

“The safety of the officers of course to us is number one, when they are out there in the field we got to take care of our guys,” Sgt. Moore said.

The funds used were paid by taxpayer dollars, the cost of the new equipment was under $1 million dollars and was approved by Harlingen city leaders.

The equipment will be with the department under a five year contract.

SOURCE: ValleyCentral