Using Body Worn Cameras - One Year On With Covington PD, KY
Covington Police Department has been using Reveal body cameras since January 2014. We caught up with Sgt Ron Trenkamp to find out how things are going.
How have you found the cameras?
The cameras have been working well for us. We have 80 RS1-SX body cameras in total and all of our 70 patrol officers use them, as well as a couple of detectives and the traffic team as well.
The officers really like them. The public seems to be happy because we haven’t had any complaints and to be honest were quite frequently being recorded.
The officers are using them much more than the body cameras we had previously, mainly because of the reliability. We get 4 to 5 videos per shift which can vary between five minutes and one hour. The weatherproof design is great because it means they can take them out in the rain and they will work just fine, they know they won’t break on them.
The one action record button is another great feature. It’s the one I like best because we used to use another brand of body cameras where you had to flick one switch and then press a button to record, but in tough situations, all the officers need to do now is slide it down and they’re good to go.
The cameras have been particularly useful in cutting down officer complaints and when the detectives use them in interviews.
What about storing the videos and managing the evidence?
We have found that we need more storage than we first expected, but because we are using DEMS, it’s all on our network stored on external hard drives. We have about 2 or 3 terabytes of storage available, and if we need more in the future we’ll just simply look at buying more hard drive space.
The evidential videos we have to go directly to our crime lab and the rest are just stored on another drive.
The automatic upload into DEMS is also a great feature. It means there is less work to do manually and administrators are really positive about DEMS.
How have you found working with Reveal?
You guys have been great to work with, especially Gary.
The support is great as well. If I need something and don’t get a response right away it’ll always be within a couple of hours. We also had an issue with some cameras which we had to send back in for repair, but they were returned to us quickly.