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Bellefonte still exploring body cams for police

By CHRIS MORELLI

cmorelli@lockhaven.com

BELLEFONTE — The Bellefonte Borough Police Department is one step closer to getting body cams.

At this week’s Bellefonte Borough Council meeting, members of council heard from Police Sgt. Jason Brower, who talked about the body cams.

The borough is one of the few police departments in Centre County that does not have body cams.

Brower said that the borough is looking at purchasing 11 cameras and a docking station. Having 11 body cams will eliminate the need for dash cams in the police cruisers, he said.

“I don’t think we need car cameras because the body cams are sufficient. Those will follow us anywhere,” Brower said.

The 11 body cams will cover the entire staff and include a spare, which can also be used for the part-time officer the borough employs.

Brower said that the cost for 11 cameras and the docking station is just “a little over $6,000.”

“It’s a very significant decrease in what we were looking at before,” Brower said.

In addition to the body cams, there is a cost for storage. Everything recorded on the cams goes to the Cloud. According to Brower, the storage rate will be locked in for five years. The rate is $30 per month, per unit. That’s a total of $330 per month for storage. That’s around $4,000 per year.

“I think that’s a reasonable rate. We’re locked in for five years and the system is probably going to change in five years. If they’re not going to increase (the cost) during that period of time … that’s pretty good,” Brower said.

The borough will start with a smaller storage size because the department will not need to download and store body cam footage each and every day.

According to borough officials, Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna has committed $15,000 to getting officers outfitted in body cams. That amount will cover the cams and two years of storage, according to Brower.

“That’s pretty significant,” Brower said.

The body cams are from a company called PRO-VISION.

On Nov. 18, council will get its first look at the body cams during a demonstration of the equipment. Council will meet at 7:30 p.m. on that same day.

In other business on Monday night, borough council:

– Announced there will be a Veteran’s Day program at 11 a.m. this Monday, Nov. 11 at the Centre County Courthouse.

– Announced there will be one more brush and grass collection — on Wednesday, Nov. 20. It will be the final brush and grass collection of the year. There will be no collections of brush and on Wednesday, Nov. 13 and Wednesday, Nov. 27.

– Said there will be a 1.9 percent increase in member dues to C-NET, which broadcasts council meetings. The 1.9 percent hike equals out to $323 per year.

– Announced that the borough’s parking meter vendor — IPS — will give a presentation about the new meters on Friday, Nov. 8.

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