Saturday, July 20, 2019 1:00 am
South Bend police to upgrade body cameras
SOUTH BEND – The city where Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is mayor is updating its police officers' body camera technology following the recent fatal police shooting of a black man.
South Bend Police Sgt. Ryan O' Neill fatally shot Eric Logan on June 16, but the shooting wasn't captured on video because his body camera wasn't activated. The shooting sparked protests, prompting Buttigieg to leave the campaign trail for several days to answer questions about public safety and race.
The technology upgrades will mean officers' body cameras can be activated manually or automatically when a squad car door is opened, the South Bend Tribune reported. And soon, sensors will activate the cameras when an officer's gun is drawn from the holster.
BodyWorn, the Decatur, Georgia-based company that manufactured the department's cameras, is providing the holster sensors. The sensor technology wasn't available when South Bend initially bought the cameras last year for $1.5 million, BodyWorn officials said. The new sensors will be prepared in the next 60 to 90 days.
Ken Garcia, a department spokesman, said officers asked the department for more ways for their cameras to start recording automatically after the shooting. In high-stress circumstances, Garcia said, officers don't want to worry about having to remember to turn their camera on.