Technology is a big part of our everyday lives. Now, it's becoming a bigger part of the job for many small law enforcement departments.
The Burkburnett Police Department has computers and vehicle cameras to help make their jobs easier and safer. But thanks to two grants and a trade they are getting even newer technology that will take their crime fighting efforts to another level.
Burkburnett police now have a high-tech partner accompanying them whenever they hit the streets. This is one of several new laptop computers Tarrleton State University helped the department receive through a $69,000 grant. Officials say the computers will allow them to obtain information much quicker on the scene than in the past.
"We'd have to trust their information and run stuff through dispatch. Then we'd have to come back to the PD and research who this person really might have been. Where now, the officer can go to his patrol car while the person is still on scene and determine if the person really is who they say they are," says Burkburnett Police Detective Jeff Krc.
More than a dozen internal laptops isn't the only technology upgrade the police department has received. They're also in the process of installing rear view mirror cameras."
A $17,000 grant from the governor's office is providing police with 16 rear-view mirror cameras to replace out-of-date dashcams.
"It gives the officers a better field of vision. It's not in his way so much. It's not as bulky. And, the new technology and the new cameras systems we got has a better track record than what we previously had," Det. Krc explains.
Burk P.D. is preparing to add one more high-tech gadget, body cameras, which will give the department up-close video and sound of suspects. But a grant isn't funding these gadgets.
"The company that we originally purchased the old camera systems from are allowing us to trade back five for body cameras. So, we're gonna send those cameras back to the original manufacturer and we're gonna trade those for body cameras," Det. Krc says.
So in the next few months this department will have access to technology that is no longer just available for law enforcement departments with large budgets.
Detective Krc says all this technology totals more than $90,000 but he says the only thing Burk P.D. is paying for is the cost for wireless internet access for each patrol unit.
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