HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) —The City of Harlingen has agreed to spend nearly 1 million dollars to upgrade the police department’s body cam system.
The department has been using the same body cameras since 2017, but now police say the system is starting to have issues.
Earlier this year, body cam footage was corrupted and they were unable to recover it.
The Harlingen City Commission approved the purchase of equipment and software for the city’s police department.
Sergeant Larry Moore says this was because the cameras they mount on themselves and in their vehicles are reaching the end of their life expectancy.
“You start having issues with them, they’ll just stop working. The software slows down it won’t upload correctly is just little issues here and there,” Moore said.
Moore says the small amount of footage that was lost were not crucial pieces of evidence, but it was a sign that the department needed an upgrade.
“When technology goes bad and the hard drive gets corrupted, you have to rebuild those hard drives,” Moore stated.
The equipment is provided through Utility, a technology company that equips police departments across the state with the latest video surveillance.
The high-tech cameras and sensors can automatically detect when an officer arrives at the scene of a call as well as when police pull their firearm from their holster.
It also gives dispatch and other police in the area the exact location and live footage if an officer is in distress.
“The technology will send a GPS location to our officers letting them know where that author has fallen directly to his location. So that’s huge for us. Because right now we rely on radio communication, you know, so having GPS capabilities knowing where officers are in our times is big for us,” Moore said.
The software and equipment will cost over $900,000 and will give the department the ability to store all the footage on the cloud, something they can not do with the current program.
Moore says it will take a few months to get everything installed and running.