The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety is set to receive a major technological upgrade after the approval of a $9-million contract. This upgrade will see the replacement of outdated patrol car mounted cameras and body cams, which are considered ancient in terms of technology. Chief Dave Boysen has expressed concerns about the reliability of the old equipment and the difficulty in finding parts for them.
To handle the video coming from the 219 body cams and 61 car cams, the department has nearly maxed out on its capacity to retain data. As a result, they have decided to convert to the cloud for unlimited data storage. A new feature being incorporated into the upgrade is a device that automatically turns the camera on whenever an officer pulls his gun or Taser, an improvement from the old system that did not have this feature.
Additionally, the department will be replacing their Tasers with new models that work better, especially during certain times of the year. The 10-year contract with Axon Enterprises includes training programs, regular maintenance and equipment upgrades, ensuring that the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety will have access to reliable and modern technology for years to come.