Several East Haven Police cars will soon be equipped with their own individual state-of-the-art digital camera systems that will allow the department to record and retain video of an officer's stops while out on patrol.
The $115,000 in funding needed to equip the marked vehicles with the recording devices was approved by the East Haven Town Council at the board's Oct. 2 regularly scheduled meeting.
A Total of 18 Vehicles
Interim Police Chief Brent Larrabee reports a total of 18 patrol cars will be equipped with the dashboard cameras, according to the meeting's minutes. (The minutes are attached to this post.)
Larrabee said this includes the 16 of the department's current vehicles that will now have the recording devices installed, as well as two vehicles already equipped with cameras expected to be added to the patrol fleet by the new year.
Download and Store
He noted the devices will record some 30 to 60 days worth of video footage, which could then be stored up to another 365 days.
Larrabee added that the duration the cameras will record in each car — and how long those videos will be downloaded and retained within the department's system — is something that will eventually be worked out and determined after consultation with legal authorities.
New Cars, New Logo
The new cameras, something the department has had in the works for the last several months, will join the four new vehicles added to its fleet earlier this year.
In addition to the new cameras and cars, the East Haven Police logo on marked vehicles was also redesigned earlier this year, too.
From Classrooms to Cameras
The money approved by the town council to fund the cameras' installation was shifted over from bonding originaly secured for the purchase of portable classrooms for Overbrook Elementary School, according to a New Haven Register report.
The portable classroom project has since been scrapped by the Mayor's Office and the school district's administration, allowing for the money to be re-appropriated.