SULPHUR, La. (KPLC) - The Sulphur Police Department is one step closer to getting some much-needed upgrades according to Chief Lewis Coats.
“It’s time to upgrade," Coats said. "It’s showing signs of failure so we have to make a decision sooner than later”
At their Tuesday night meeting, the Sulphur City Council approved a resolution authorizing a request for proposals for 30 body cameras, 30 in-car cameras, interrogation room cameras, and cloud-based software and video storage for SPD.
SPD has not had body cameras for the last two years according to Coats. He says the company the department uses does not offer them.
Coats says he believes it is important to have body cameras on officers and that types of body cameras available now are very advanced.
“They have options where if you merely unholster your weapon your body camera engages," Coats said. "If an officer is down, laying in a particular position for 15 to 20 seconds, it comes on. Gunshot detection. There’s options for some of the companies that we have looked at for our dispatch to be able to dial in and see, basically with a very few seconds delay, what’s going on on scene.”
Chief Coats says technology law enforcement uses is essential to their jobs and says these upgrades will protect the officers as well as hold them accountable.
The newer tech he’s looking to get for the department will be integrated.
“Basically you’re able to line up all the cameras so if an incident happens you have one screen showing the second by second action going on.” Coats said.
He says footage the department collects will go to dual-storage servers in different states and is an online-based encrypted system.
“All of the systems we are looking at meet the government requirements for security and I just think that this will help us serve the citizens better and collect the evidence we need on certain cases that we may have otherwise overlooked,” Coats said.
He says the price varies depending on which cameras and software they get.
“Many are cloud-based so you gave to pay for storage,” Coats said. “You have to pay for other features too. It all varies. I think I am budgeted for $250,000, $300,000 for about a five year period.”
According to the City Council meeting agenda, “Sealed proposals for (30) Body Worn Cameras, (30) In-Car Cameras, (3) Interrogation Room Cameras and Cloud-based Software and Video Storage for Police Department will be received by the Clerk of the Council until 10:00 a.m. on the 18th day of December, 2019, at which time proposals will be opened and read aloud in an open and public session to be conducted by the Director of Finance in the Conference Room at the City Hall, and the City Council shall at a regular meeting on the 13th day of January 2020, at 5:30 p.m. proceed to award the proposal, to waive irregularities, or to reject any and all proposals, or otherwise proceed thereto as provided by law.”