Police recorders get $101,745 update

Published 8:46 am Friday, April 13, 2012

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department is getting some new equipment for its vehicles again.

The county board of commissioners will consider a resolution next week for the department to purchase new video systems for all 20 of its patrol vehicles.

This comes after the department purchased new radar equipment for four patrol cars last month.

The video systems will cost the department $101,745, which will come from the department’s fund balance, which stands at $132,856.

Undersheriff Chuck Heit said the department is getting the new equipment at the cost of refurbished.

The current video systems are seven years old, according to Heit.

“We are having some issues with hard drives,” Heit said, adding the typical longevity for such equipment is three to five years.

Doug James, the director of the county’s financial services, said liability could be a concern if there are problems with the video cameras recording arrests.

“What if the unit fails? It’s a big liability issue,” James said.

The new system has higher resolution and better imaging, according to Heit.

“It might be good enough that we end up on ‘Cops’ someday,” said County Administrator Bill Wolf with a laugh.

The system also allows officers to directly download footage from their cars to the department’s server.

The county will vote next week whether to approve the purchase.