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Euclid Police Department officers now equipped with body cameras

Department overhauling tech and increasing transparency
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Posted at 9:03 PM, Jun 03, 2022

EUCLID, Ohio — All of the Euclid Police Department’s sworn officers are now equipped with body cameras and new dash cameras.

In September 2021, the Euclid City Council approved the purchasing of body cameras and updating dash cameras for the entire department. It’s a project that would cost more than $400,000. In January of this year, the department received a $122,000 grant from Gov. Mike DeWine’s office for the purchase of the body cams, which eased the financial burden.

Before, out of the 100 officers in the department, only about a dozen had body cameras. They had to purchase them on their own, which could cost around $1,000.

Euclid police Capt. Mitch Houser said this is something officers need and something they wanted.

“To be able to have a set of eyes watching something completely impartial, recording what’s going on, is a great way to protect our officers, protect the public and prosecute the suspects,” he said. “The public demands transparency and I agree with it. It’s the way this job needs to be done.”

In the past, the department has come under scrutiny for past instances involving accusations of excessive force, but no footage to prove it.

“In instances when there’s issues that come between the public and officers, it’s good to know that it will be caught,” said Houser.

Houser said the new dash cam system will be installed in all of the 24 patrol cars. It has 3 cameras: One in the front, the back, and one that can be positioned 360 degrees.

“If one our officers rolls up on a situation and something is going on in his driver window, he can just turn the camera and boom, you’ve got coverage to the side,” he said.

Andy Derezic is with Euclid’s Motor Maintenance Department and has installed the new system to the patrol cars. He said the new technology is impressive.

“When the officer comes off of his shift or anytime he pulls into the station, we have an antenna that’s mounted to the top of the vehicle that goes ahead and automatically downloads to the system computer inside the station,” said Derezic.

Euclid police said they will be following the Ohio Collaborative Policy when it comes to when and why the body camera is rolling.