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The Bozeman Police Department reports that, after a year of use, body cams are effective tools



Bozeman, Montana – The Bozeman Police Department has been employing body camera equipment for a year now. They claim that even though it’s still relatively new to them, it has developed into a potent instrument.

“I think some of the events of the last few years certainly caused us to implement these cameras faster,” said Chief Jim Veltkamp.

At Public Safety Center, body cameras are in the process of charging. Despite their diminutive size, Chief Veltkamp claims they have a significant function.

“Juries and judges want to see better evidence,“ said Veltkamp. “We want to be able to determine exactly what’s occurring in an interaction. For transparency, it’s just best to have cameras documenting any interaction that occurs.”

Bozeman Police Department used costly but ingenious equipment to capture nearly 140,000 individual footage in less than nine months.

“I believe these body cameras are around $1,000,” said Veltkamp.

And eighty-five of them exist.

At the Bozeman City Commission meeting on October 3, Veltkamp made a special presentation outlining the purpose of the cameras, the direction that technology is taking, and the financial benefits of investing in them.

“The goal with us using technology is to not go so overboard that it costs us way too much money, or not a good use of taxpayer money,” said Veltkamp. “We’re always thinking of appropriate technology that helps us investigate cases better.”

And even give the general people comfort when they see those flashing lights.

“There are times when you hear about a good deed that’s happened,” said Veltkamp. “But when you actually see that body cam footage, it really helps us identify the positives, the good work the officers are doing and build on it.”


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