Through the generosity of a local resident and careful city budgeting, all police officers in uniform at the Wyoming Police Department are now wearing body cameras.
The idea was introduced in late summer of 2020. “A Wyoming resident made a very generous donation to get the ball rolling,” said Captain Steve Ballinger of the Wyoming Police Department.
Several members of the Wyoming Police department were selected to become body camera trainers. They received eight hours of training on the use and operation of the Axon cameras. These trainers then provided the initial four hours of training for the remainder of the department.
The cameras, along with quality measures already in practice, are expected to help improve transparency and safety.
“We are constantly training on our own policies, whether it’s body cameras, use of force, or pursuit,” added Ballinger.
Formal training on the body cameras concluded on December 8, 2020, and they were immediately put into use.
“This is another opportunity for us to be transparent in what it is we do,” said Ballinger. “The great thing about the body cameras [is that they] show part of the officer’s view of what’s going on, so [they’ve] been able to shed some light on situations [where] we’ve never had [that] before,” said Ballinger.
The body cameras are always on, they work through Bluetooth technology, and they start recording when an event, like a taser being turned on, trips them. The lights atop an officer’s vehicle and a magnet on each one of the officer’s holsters will trip the body cameras to start recording, too. All body camera recordings show the footage from the 30 seconds prior to the trip and the audio and video from the duration of the recording. In addition, once one body camera starts recording, any officers’ cameras within 30 feet of the active camera will also start to record.
The cameras record a view of about 160 degrees, similar to what a human eye sees. The video quality is 720p.
“There’s always a benefit to understanding more about what we do,” said Ballinger. “This extra layer of transparency helps serve us and the community,” he said.
Questions or comments about the body cameras should be directed to Police Chief Rusty Herzog. You can see the body camera policy by clicking here .