WASCO, Calif. - Police dash cam video often provides the most important piece of evidence in a criminal case, but you may be surprised to learn that not every patrol car in Kern County has a camera.
23 ABC has learned that the Wasco sheriff’s substation is about to change that with a new set of dash cams.
Each camera costs $6,500 and with more than 300 patrol cars in the sheriff's department, the nearly $2 million price tag is a hefty price to pay all at once.
That's why when Wasco received a technology grant, they jumped at the chance to purchase patrol cams for their substation.
Sgt. Ian Chandler is in charge of the Wasco sheriff's substation, and in charge of their new Mobile Audio Video Recording System.
Watch Guard Video is the largest manufacturer of police-in-car video.
"Once we initiate a traffic stop and the light bar comes on, the system is active" said Chandler.
Chandler said the city gifted them nine cameras and the operating system.
The city of Wasco had been trying to get this grant since last year.
Chandler said there are countless benefits to dash cams because a deputy can review the video prior to writing the report so all the details are factual and they can interpret the events precisely as they happened.
The system also allows for recording in the back seat of the patrol car.
Chandler is the system administrator and doesn’t have any editing capabilities, which means once something is recorded, no one can erase it. The data will be saved for 366 days after an event.
The cameras are in high definition, can zoom in, and provide clear video even at night.
Chandler said the cameras are currently being installed and will go through a test run.
Once they are ready to go they will hit the streets in the very near future.