Every patrolman in Corpus Christi is about to have their vehicle outfitted with a video camera, and the officers will be wearing the microphones.
The Corpus Christi Police Department and the police union believe this is a great move. Both agree that the video system is a good thing because, during the testing of the system, the camera and microphone helped to clear the name of an officer who was accused of wrongdoing.
That officer then turned around and used the video evidence to successfully sue the person for slander.
Right now, the police department only has a half-dozen police cars equipped with a video camera system. That number is changing as City Council voted to approve a $1.4 million deal to buy 164 camera systems. Those are expected to be installed by the first of the new year.
It's an expensive purchase, but CCPD Commander Todd Green believes it will pay off in the end.
"We're excited about it," Green said. "The officers out there are very positive about it, overall. I think they feel it's a tool that's going to help them do their job better and also protect them from frivolous complaints."
The commander added that the video and audio will be automatically uploaded into the police department's servers. Then, the evidence can be used in a criminal case or to defend the actions of an officer.
The CCPD will also have to run fiber-optic lines to their substations in Flour Bluff and Tuloso-Midway because, when an officer returns to those substations, the video will be uploaded wirelessly and it will be encrypted.