Registered Agency Profile: Hoyt Kansas Police Department

body camera hoyt patchRegistered Agency Profile: Hoyt Kansas Police Department 

Agency Donation Effort Contact: Chief Dan Wentling

Link: Department Website

Number of officers: 3

Body Camera Goal: 3

Click here to donate to this department

 DONATIONS

Name State Amount
Janelle K. Hoyt, KS $100.00
Janelle K. Hoyt, KS $100.00
Janelle K. Hoyt, KS $100.00

Why has your Agency decided to start a body camera program?Registration Statement: Hoyt, KS is a small town in NE Kansas with population of 600 persons. We are a part-time department of three officers who all three work regular jobs.
Chief Wentling: Our state was considering requiring use of body cameras and small department’s really can’t afford it. I think it would be good for all department’s to use them both for the public’s protection and for our protection.

How do you believe a body camera program will benefit your officers, department and the community?
Chief Wentling: It would help the department in cases and complaints. We have car cameras but they only capture the view from the patrol car, the body cameras would show more of what’s happening from the officers perspective of what’s happening outside the car. We sometimes get complaints about what an officer said or didn’t say and a body camera would prove exactly what was said.

Are there any situations where having body camera video evidence would have made a difference in court cases or complaints against your officers?
Chief Wentling: We never had any complaints about an officer physically abusing someone, but there have been complaints about verbal abuse and it would have been nice to have a body camera to capture exactly what the officer said. Sometimes when the officer is away from the patrol car, the audio is hard to hear. We had one situation where an officer had to Tase a gentleman who was attacking another officer. We won the case in court, but having a body camera would have left no room for doubt as to exactly what happened.

Does your department have guidelines for a body camera policy? If so, what would the policy be? When would officers be required to record, etc.?
Chief Wentling: We have been studying policies and looking at the Topeka Kansas body camera policy and will likely mirror that policy and that of surroundings departments that have them. We’re still researching, but we want to make sure we can get the cameras first before we put a body camera policy in place.