Potter Co. Sheriff's Office installs new in-car camera system

The Potter County Sheriff's Office is installing the new Axon in-car camera system into the department vehicles. (ABC 7 Amarillo-Tiffany Lester)

The Potter County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) is upgrading its in-car camera system.

Fleet supervisor Adam Bergara worked carefully to install the new Axon in-car camera system into the department vehicles Thursday afternoon.

“(The in-car cameras) are needed for traffic stops prison transports, so it’s just going to be an added feature to help us do our job,” said PCSO Sergeant Kory Brown.

The old system was in use for seven years.

Brown said it was not connected to the current body-worn camera system which made it a hassle to look through video.

“The officers had to basically categorize two different camera systems, which in turn our investigators had to do the same thing. With this new one, it’s actually going to be one system that they can go in and find all the cameras that the deputies get on scene,” said Brown. “The software was going out-of-date on the other ones, maintenance costs were going up, so it was time to upgrade our system.”

While both the old and new in-car camera systems have a backseat camera and a front camera, Brown tells ABC 7 News the new system is much more clear and more beneficial to deputies out on calls.

He said a signal box installed with the system will help make it easier for deputies to document scenes and situations.

“It integrates all of the cameras into one basically. It takes the initiating of the camera out of the officer’s hands. Basically, when they activate their lights, the cameras will start recording automatically. If back-up deputies arrive on scene and their cameras aren’t activated at the time, there’s a signal box in these cars and if they get within 30 feet of the vehicle, their camera will automatically start recording,” said Brown.

The 30 new in-car cameras came free with the purchase of the body-worn cameras, but PCSO officials said the maintenance and memory system itself costs around $8,000 which was approved in the annual budget.

It takes about a day to install each new system. Officials said they hope to have the entire fleet complete within the next few weeks.

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