Chief MelloOn October 26, 2016, Chief Richard Mello received a donation of $18,000 for the purpose of purchasing body worn cameras for the department’s officers. The Lebanon Police Department currently utilizes Panasonic’s Arbitrator 360 In-Car Camera System in all of its marked patrol cars. The Panasonic system has a camera mounted facing forward through the windshield of the patrol car, along with a camera mounted facing the back seat to record prisoners during transport. Currently, officers wear a wireless microphone to record audio while the in-car camera captures video. The drawback to this system has been that there is no video documentation of any incidents that take place out of the view of the camera mounted in the patrol car.
The police department has been exploring the integration of body worn cameras into our current system but due to budget constraints, had delayed the program for future funding consideration. A recent news story highlighted our lack of body worn cameras, which prompted a City resident to step forward with a generous offer of assistance.
This generous donation will allow the purchase of ten body worn cameras for Lebanon officers who are working uniformed patrol. This donation also funds the necessary accessories, hardware, installation, training and support required to integrate the body worn cameras into our current system. The ten cameras will be shared by the roughly 22 patrol officers that are assigned to the patrol division and any other officer who may be working a uniformed patrol assignment.
The new body worn cameras have been ordered and roll-out is anticipated to be several months away. This will allow for receiving the new cameras, along with working out logistical considerations, installation and training. In regard to the donation and addition of body worn cameras, Chief Mello stated, “The addition of body worn cameras to our existing system will further protect our police officers and offer the capability of capturing additional evidence in the course of our duties. I’m proud of our officers and their professionalism and this additional tool will complement our current technology.”