YORK COUNTY — With the help of a $24,400 federal grant, Spring Garden Township Police are now wearing body cameras, Chief George J. Swartz said Wednesday in a press release.
All officers in the department began wearing the new equipment in the first week of this month, Swartz said. All of them have received extensive training prior to their use, and the department has adopted a new policy that spells out exactly when the cameras are to be turned on, and when they are permitted to be turned off.
“Most interactions such as vehicle and criminal enforcement stops, service calls, physical/verbal confrontations, checks in the neighborhood, and investigating motor vehicle accidents are common situations when the cameras will be turned on,” Swartz said. “Instances where officers are engaged in personal activities or having conversations with other officers at the station, or where individuals have an expectation of privacy such as restrooms or locker rooms, are examples when it is appropriate for the cameras to be turned off.”
The cameras will be located near the center of the officer’s chest on the outermost layer of the uniform, according to the department’s policy.
“The use of the body worn camera will be a valuable tool for accurately documenting events, actions and statements made during investigative stops, arrests and critical incidents,” Swartz said. “The audio and video recording will also be a valuable asset in supplementing the officer’s testimony in court proceedings by presenting a clear picture of what happened during the incident.
“Our officers are committed to providing professional law enforcement service to the Spring Garden Community. In keeping that commitment, the body worn cameras will be a tool to strengthen transparency and accountability to you.”