A Tulsa company hopes to one day equip the Police Department with video cameras in their patrol cars. Tulsa tried it once before with cameras that didn't work. But now, as The News On 6's Emory Bryan reports, a local firm hopes to get the police department interested in using new technology that's already working.
Many departments have cameras in their cars and use it as a tool to prove what did or didn't happen. It's especially valuable in gathering evidence in drunken driving cases. Tulsa doesn't have the cameras, even though one of the big manufacturers of camera systems is in Tulsa.
Rocky Keys sells police car video systems made by International Police Technologies in Tulsa.
"Everything was engineered and built, we have engineers on staff; everything was built from the ground up," said Rocky Keys with International Police Technologies.
The technology is so advanced now that more than just a picture is recorded. Another camera gets the inside view of the car, the officer, and anyone in the back seat. The system records speed, location, and when the officer is using lights and siren and even the brakes.
One of the advantages of the system is it's always recording. So, even before an officer turns on his emergency lights, everything he's doing is recorded right there. That amounts to having a recording of what happens just before an officer starts to pull someone over.
"And the reason we do that is so if they see something happen, and their reaction, they start a recording, they see the violation, it will be on the video," said Keys.
The camera systems cost about $5,000 per car. Besides recording far more information than plain cameras, the company claims it's super secure. They said it's good enough to be used as evidence in court yet simple enough to work in the field.
It would cost more than $1.2 million to equip Tulsa police with these cameras. There isn't money in the city budget for it this year or next. But, many smaller cities have had similar equipment for years and believe it's a good investment.