BEAVERCREEK — The implementation of two pieces of police technology is on hold in Beavercreek.
According to Beavercreek Police Chief Dennis Evers, while the city’s police department has no immediate plans to roll out police body cameras and text-to-911 capabilities, both ideas are in the works.
Evers said officers in his department are in favor of the body cameras but that a handful of snags are holding up a pilot program, one of which is the time-consuming redaction process associated with public records requests.
“Every 10 minutes of video right now takes one hour of staff time to redact,” he said. “… Otherwise we open ourselves up to people wanting to take action against us for violating their privacy rights. That’s my concern is that down the road should we look at body camera footage for redaction, we’re going to have to have an increase in staff to deal with that.”
Other issues include video storage and the camera technology itself. One of the department’s priorities in a new system is that it would integrate with its current in-car video systems.
“In a situation where the officer is going to have to be counted on to turn [the body camera] on, I want them to only have to worry about one device, not two,” Evers said, estimating that more industry development in that particular area would occur within the next 12-18 months.
“I didn’t think it was prudent to jump out there and buy body cameras and say, ‘OK, we got body cameras,’ and make that big splash and then we didn’t look at all the unintended consequences associated with that, such as redaction and storage and privacy issues,” he said. “Until I’m satisfied, we will work through all of those issues, we’re not going to be putting body cameras out.”
Evers told members of Beavercreek City Council Monday night that the department’s ability to accept 911 texts is on hold while cell vendors work to make the technology available on their end.
“Verizon, AT&T are not moving as quickly to make that technology available,” he said. “We are ready to receive it. Our platform is in. We’re up and ready and have been since the middle of last year.”
Reach Nathan Pilling at 937-502-4498 or on Twitter @XDGNatePilling.