INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter announced details of a plan to outfit troopers with body cameras. The cameras would be in addition to the two cameras already installed in squad cars.
So far more than 200 body cams have been assigned to troopers since the program began in June. Eventually, nearly 800 body cams will be deployed. Carter said the biggest hurdle to overcome before the agency adopted the use of body cams was to solve connectivity issues frequently found in rural areas where cell phone signals are spotty.
The system utilizes a router that is installed in the vehicle which allows for more accessibility and connectivity in areas of the state where cell phone coverage is not always optimal.
The Fort Wayne Post has already had some of the new cameras installed in ISP cars. Sgt. Brian Walker said these cars were already equipped with cameras and the ISP was starting the rollout by updating existing equipment. Walker estimates the Fort Wayne post will be fully outfitted with cameras for the 75-80 ISP troopers and personnel by the end of this month.
In August of 2020, Governor Holcomb mandated the ISP would adopt and implement a body worn camera system by the Spring of 2021. Since the Governor’s announcement, extensive research and testing has been conducted to ensure the system implemented would best meet the needs of the ISP.
The cost of the body cam program is around $15 million and some of that cost is associated with additional staff to manage the storage of video which will be kept for years in some instances.
The video below includes sound from Supt. Carter regarding what changed his opinion that body cameras should not be used.
A body camera will automatically turn on when a trooper pulls out his weapon or when his vehicle is involved in a crash.
Carter said it’s his intention to be as transparent as possible when it comes to releasing body cam video and there will be an appeals process for times when his department decides not to release the video.