Rogersville Police Chief Paul Laughlin said his department has tried out body cameras for two years to determine which type they preferred. Now, thanks to a generous donation from the Community Foundation of Rogersville, the department will be able to purchase more of them.
Laughlin said that department vehicles have had digital cameras for a while now, and in fact they have them right now. "We decided to stay with those," Laughlin said. "The cool thing about the body cameras, seeing how they're made by the same company as our cars, when we turn one on, it activates the other one, too. If an officer activates a body camera on him, it’ll activate the one in the car, as well."
During the Rogersville Board of Aldermen meeting Monday, July 6, the Community Foundation of Rogersville presented the Rogersville Police Department with a grant in the amount of $7,227.30 for the purpose of purchasing new body cameras. The body cameras serve as a benefit both for officer safety and transparency with the public, according to Laughlin.
"We can go back and look at the footage, in case someone has a question about something," said Laughlin. "That way, we have it there with us and can look back at it."
With body cameras, he said the ones they’re getting are easier to replace some of the parts on them since there are two separate units.
"There's a main unit and a little camera with a cord to it," said Laughlin. "That way, if the camera gets messed up, we can replace that part of it, instead of having to replace the whole thing."
Laughlin said that this isn’t the first time the Rogersville Police Department has received a grant for the purchase of cameras in general.
"Webster Electric Cooperative has helped us out several times with cameras for the cars," said Laughlin.
Laughlin said the department usually has five cars, but right now they're running short because one of them was damaged. They currently have two vehicles ordered, but there have been delays due to COVID-19. Regarding the donation, Laughlin noted, "We’re truly grateful to the Community Foundation of Rogersville for their generosity. This will really help our department."