Carlisle Police Adding Body Cameras to Force

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CARLISLE, Iowa - The Carlisle Police Department will soon join many others in the Metro using body cameras while on the job.

"I think it's an added tool for us to use in the police department, to one, capture evidence, capture statements made by citizens on the street that we interact with, in hopes that it will reduce overtime costs, reduce court times, and one, have a quicker clearance of our cases," said Carlisle Police Chief Eric Spring. "So that allows us to focus on the things we need to focus on within the city. 9 times out of 10, when people know they're being recorded, they tend to be on their best behavior."

The small force of six is in the works of hiring a seventh officer, but only three will be equipped with body cameras for now; the force received a $5,000 grant from the Warren County Philanthropic Partnership to purchase three body cameras, as well as the software to go with it. The grant is offered twice a year, so the force is hoping to receive funding in the future to equip its other four officers. The software will connect with the technology currently in the department's police car cameras.

When it comes to policies on when and how to use the cameras, Chief Spring says officers don't have to notify a citizen when they are being recorded; however, if you ask an officer, they must answer.

"We're living in that society where we expect to be recorded on any interaction we may have with the public, so, it's kind of our way of capturing that information as well, so it's not something that should be a surprise to them," he said.

Carlisle police will begin testing the equipment in mid-July and implement it in August.

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