OC Police Department making progress with body cameras, leaders say they’re looking forward to new tool
OCEAN CITY, Md.- A process that’s in the beginning stages, but making progress, body cameras for the Ocean City Police Department.
“Right now, we have several cameras in the field, we just finished up a stage with one vendor with cameras in the field, we’re now in a second phase with different cameras from a different vendor,” OC Police Chief Ross Buzzuro, said.
Maryland has a mandate that requires law enforcement agencies to wear body cameras by 2025.
But, OC Police Chief Ross Buzzuro and Mayor Rick Meehan said they want those cameras before that time.
“Well, I think its excellent, you know we took the initiative even though we will be mandated a few years from now that we wanted to go ahead and do this as soon as possible, we think its the best thing for our community, the best thing for our residents,” Mayor Meehan said.
Adding, this new resource will help in more ways than one.
“The cameras I believe will be more of a tool of a resource or protecting officers,” Chief Buzzuro said.
“It allows the police officers to do their job also to record what they’re doing so you see both sides of the camera and I think that helps everybody, it helps the officers, it helps the public,” Mayor Meehan said.
But, they do know this process isn’t going to be all smooth sailing. There are challenges they will need to face, like the ongoing price tag.
“We’re going to have to hire 4 to 5 maybe 6 new people because we are going to have the process where we are going to have to categorize, we are going to have to store, we are going to have to pay for storage, we are going to have to be able to supply the video when requested,” Mayor Meehan said.
And, with testing, evaluations, a review process, and numbers needing to be crunched, Chief Buzzuro said they will keep looking ahead and take one step at a time.
“We believe in the Ocean City Police Department, I certainly do as a Chief, that we are very professional, very capable department, I’m 100 percent committed to moving forward,” Chief Buzzuro said.
The Police Chief told us they are looking at a timetable that’s after the first of the year to make a presentation to the Mayor and Council for their consideration.
Mayor Rick Meehan said the county is also going to be taking on additional expenses, in regard to prosecuting and making sure they are able to process the videos.
Adding, when an incident happens now they look at all the city watch cameras, but that process will be better, since they can look specifically on the body cams.