Michigan State Troopers receive training for new body cameras
Negaunee Post Troopers say the technology will help provide more transparency and accountability
MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Michigan State Police troopers have some new technology: Motorola Body-Worn Cameras.
Since January, Sergeant Roger Hunt of the Information Technology Division has been traveling to each MSP district to train officers on how to use the 128-gigabyte cameras. And on Thursday, he trained troopers at the MSP Eighth District Headquarters in Marquette.
“It’s got updated microphones that are better than the current high-fiber mics that they are transitioning to this new Body-Worn Camera. It’s got better image resolution to capture more dynamic scenes,” said Hunt.
Last fall, $3.8 million in state funding was approved for the cameras, followed by an additional $2 million in grant funding from the Department of Justice in April.
Until now, troopers have been relying on cameras in their patrol cars to accurately capture response scenes. Lieutenant Mark Giannunzio said the new devices show how far law enforcement technology has come.
“Twenty-three years in, I would have not seen this coming probably when I started my career,” Giannunzio said. “We were still using VHS tapes in the back of our patrol cars to record traffic stops.”
During Thursday’s training, the troopers learned how to use the cameras, when they have to be on, how to download the footage and policies for use. With videos of police interactions appearing more frequently on social media, Giannunzio said the cameras will help uphold transparency and accountability.
“It’s a way to protect (troopers) from false claims, and on the very off-case where maybe a trooper does do something wrong outside of policy or a procedure, they can be held accountable, too,” said Giannunzio.
Hunt said the cameras are beneficial to the whole department and has received mostly positive reviews.
“I’ve had feedback come back to say, ‘Hey. Look, I wasn’t a real strong proponent of this. I got into an altercation, the Body-Worn Camera came out, and it painted a picture of exactly what happened, it articulated the scene, it enhanced my report,’” Hunt said.
Hunt and Giannunzio said the public will start seeing all Negaunee Post troopers wear the body cameras by the start of this weekend.
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