ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque re-signed a contract with the company Taser for more than $4 million, meaning officers are phasing out their old lapel cameras.
This time around, every officer will get two body cameras and there are some major differences.
“You’re going to see that new cameras don’t have any chords,” Officer Tanner Tixier said. “It’s not a separate camera that attaches to a battery pack. The camera is built into a battery pack.”
The Albuquerque Police Department said this is for a good reason.
“Now there’s no chance of any chord becoming tangled, unplugged or used as a weapon against the officer.”
Another issue: the Albuquerque Police Department said the current cameras’ batteries weren’t lasting for officers’ entire shifts. The city dished out $4.4 million in July for 2,000 cameras, meaning every officer gets two.
“So that way as one camera is uploading all its videos, the officer will have another on his belt or body ready to go,” Officer Tixier said.
Other than an upgrade in video quality and a condensed camera pack, Tixier said another, and probably the biggest added feature, is a mute button. He said officers can choose to use it in instances when they’re collecting victim information or discussing a tactical plan with another officer.
“Video will keep running to document what’s going on around us but the actual private conversation won’t be recorded,” he said.
APD said it will have to update its standard operating procedure, taking into consideration the new features on the cameras, including the mute option.