Spring Garden Police Launch Body Camera Program
With the assistance of a $24, 400.00 federal grant, the Spring Garden Township Police Department began deploying Body Worn Cameras the first week of July, 2019. All Spring Garden Police Department sworn personnel have been outfitted with Body Worn Cameras and have all received extensive training on their use as well as the Department policy. The policy spells out when the cameras are to be turned on and when they are permitted to be turned off. Most interactions such as vehicle and criminal enforcement stops, service calls, physical / verbal confrontations, checks in the neighborhood, and investigating motor vehicle accidents are common situations when the cameras will be turned on. Instances where officers are engaged in personal activities or having conversations with other officers at the station, or where individuals have an expectation of privacy such as restrooms or locker rooms, are examples when it is appropriate for the cameras to be turned off.
Our police officers will wear the camera near the center of their chest on the outer most layer of their uniform. The use of the body worn camera will be a valuable tool for accurately documenting events, actions and statements made during investigative stops, arrests and critical incidents. The audio and video recording will also be a valuable asset in supplementing the officer's testimony in court proceedings by presenting a clear picture of what happened during the incident.
Our officers are committed to providing professional law enforcement service to the Spring Garden Community. In keeping that commitment, the body worn cameras will be a tool to strengthen transparency and accountability to you.
The Department's Body Worn Camera Policy is attached to this release for review. I would invite your comments, questions, or suggestions as we roll out this new program.
As always, thank you for your continued support.
George J. Swartz Chief of Police