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GRPD officers begin body cam training | News

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GRPD officers begin body cam training

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Training is starting for the first Grand Rapids Police Department personnel learning to use body cameras.

GRPD will be the first agency in the country to use the Axon Body 2 camera made by TASER International.

The decision to use that model was made after a pilot program earlier this year, which helped officers learn about how they wanted the cameras to function.

This particular Axon Body 2 camera requires less officer involvement, thanks to automatic functions and other features.

The department has only received 20 of the body cameras so far, because the rest are still in production. Eventually, all 298 sworn officers will have one.

These body cameras have a longer battery life and more storage capacity. They also have a vibrate alert when the camera is recording, whereas others only have an audible alert.

On Thursday afternoon, WZZM 13 spoke to one sergeant who was in the pilot program that tested 10 different body cameras. He said it was especially important that the cameras automatically begin recording when the lights or sirens are on.

"One of the big things was the activation; having to manually activate it, regardless of if you're in your car or not, versus now  -- it's like a Bluetooth, where if I activate my lights and siren, it's already on," Sgt. Brad Bush told WZZM 13.

"They are recording exactly what you are doing, and it would probably be wise not to not violate the law in our presence. That being said, at the same time, if an officer does something they are not supposed to, we'll also have the ability to see what that was and be able to address the problem," said Lt. David Schnurstein.

The city council back in September approved spending the $1.8 million these body cameras cost.



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