The Haines City Commission approved the purchase of body-worn cameras for members of the Haines City Police Department.
Haines City Police Chief Greg Goreck requested the commission approve the purchase of 70 body-worn cameras, as well as 45 in-car video systems for the Police Department. The department has had eight patrol officers testing the cameras since May of 2022.The city commission approved the request Thursday evening.
The use of body-worn cameras has proliferated in recent years as a way for law enforcement agencies to ensure transparency and accountability when it comes to police interactions with the public.
Similarly, the cameras provide supplemental evidence for prosecution by clearly showing a judge or jury what an officer saw and/or heard during an encounter with an offender.
Body-worn cameras also provide for a faster and unbiased resolution to potential citizen complaints. The ability to review an incident can decrease the amount of time staff spends conducting investigations and potentially avoid unnecessary costs associated with litigation.
While testing the cameras, the Haines City Police Department recognized the numerous advantages of equipping officers with body-worn cameras; and decided to request funding to increase the number of officers who were issued one.
“The ability to capture and document what our officers see and hear on audio and video from the officer’s perspective supports our commitment to instilling the highest level of public confidence in our department,” said Chief Greg Goreck.
“We have been researching body-worn cameras and saw a tremendous value in the technology towards fulfilling our mission. The cameras not only further our professionalism, accountability and transparency with the public, but also protect our officers, organization and the city against unjustified complaints or civil actions.
“These devices will also help shine a light on the good work conducted by our officers every day,” he added.
Chief Goreck expects his officers will be equipped with the cameras no later than January.