All uniformed Davenport Police officers equipped with body cameras

Published: Jan. 4, 2018 at 10:26 PM CST
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Over the past year, the City of Davenport has worked to bring body cameras to the Davenport Police Department. In the past month, officers have learned how to use the equipment, and each uniformed officer has been assigned their own body camera.

The department has a six-year contract for around half a million dollars with Axon. It was approved by city council at the end of September. It includes 150 cameras, charging stations, mounds and storage.

The cameras record interactions between officers and the public. The video is stored on a cloud-based storage system that can then be played back on supervisors computers.

“Once the item gets docked…it's actually submitting that information to a storage evidence system,” said Davenport Major Jeffery Bladel.

The assistant police chief says recordings are categorized and some are saved for a year or longer.

“The goal is to be able to have that video for the prosecutors, for the courts available until it's no longer needed,” he said.

Hours of video are saved to the server each day, but not every second of an officer's shift is recorded.

“When the officers are on shift, the camera will actually be in an on position,” Major Bladel said. “The on position is in a buffer state, so what it will do it will continuously record but it won't capture anything.”

Police are responsible for pressing a button to capture their interactions with the public.

“Once the officers are in a situation to where they need to kick on their recording, they activate the recorder and it goes back a 30 second buffer and captures that 30 seconds without sound,” he said.

After that, video and audio recordings are captured.

Police hope this tool will take their work to the next level.

“It will help enhance some of the investigations that we have with greater evidence and help with the prosecutions,” Bladel said.

Over the next year, the department plans to switch its dash cam technologies to the same system as the body cameras, Axon. This will eventually make it so triggers, like turning on the light bar or opening the car door, would active both the car and body camera video recordings.