Registered Agency Spotlight: Lorenzo Texas Police Department

lorenzo tx pd body camera donations patchRegistered Police Department Spotlight: Lorenzo Texas Police Department

Department Donation Effort Contact: Chief Dave Smith

Link: Department Website

Number of officers: 3

Body Camera Goal: 5

Click here to donate to this department

Why has your department decided to start a body camera program?
Chief Smith: Texas state law will require us to use body cameras soon and they help cover our officers. They will keep our department be more transparent It’s not so much about what happens after, but the body camera documents the initiation of the incident and shows exactly what happened.

How do you believe a body camera program will benefit your officers, department and the community? 
Chief Smith: Body cameras would document what we do and our interactions with the public. They would also help with training. It helps us review how officers approach citizens and review their interaction and use that video for training purposes. Body cameras will keep us accountable for our actions and citizens’ actions as well.

Are there any situations where having body camera video evidence would have made a difference in court cases or complaints against your officers?
Chief Smith: We had a situation some time ago where an officer responded to a dispatch call involving a Child Protective Services agent. Afterwords a complaint was filed by a family member. The CPS agent had one version of what happened, the family member who made the complaint had a different version and the officer had a different account. Having a body camera would have been perfect in that situation when you have conflicting accounts of one incident. It would have documented exactly what happened and saved a lot of time and effort in investigating the complaint.

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 Smith: We’re researching and working on a body camera policy now and will have one in place soon.