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Cruiser Cameras Recommended - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Cruiser Cameras Recommended

Burlington, Vt -- August 12, 2009

A racial profiling report recommends Vermont police install cameras in all of their cruisers -- to record police interaction with drivers on traffic stops. But doing so could be costly.

Several Vermont police agencies have some cruiser-mounted cameras. They have helped provide solid evidence against suspects. But Burlington's police chief estimates the cost of installing state-of-the art equipment in all of his department's cars would cost at least a quarter of a million dollars -- with additional operating costs as well.

((Mike Schirling/Burlington Police Chief: "But currently the most important piece of the puzzle for us is the need to manage those cameras and most importantly manage the information that comes out of those cameras because most of what happens with the cameras ends up in litigation and the criminal court so we have to be able to provide a variety of copies to prosecutors,defense attorneys, the court. And we're not in position to add to staff at this point to manage that function."))

Chief Schirling agrees the cameras can collect significant evidence -- but he says there needs to be a community conversation about the use of the technology -- and the cost -- before the Burlington Police Dept. embraces the idea.

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