EDINBURGH — The Edinburgh Town Council has approved the purchase of 16 new body cameras and redaction software for the police department.
The new cameras will replace cameras that the department has been using since 2020. The upgrade was needed because the current camera system didn’t come with redaction software, which made it difficult to fulfill public information requests for footage in a timely manner, said Doyne Little, police chief.
The redaction software will help protect community members’ private information when fulfilling public record requests and save time and storage space for the department. Information such as Social Security numbers and minor’s faces will be easily redacted from footage with the technology.
Right now the public must make an appointment with the chief to view the footage in person. No information can be recorded or written down.
“You can’t make the camera unsee something without being able to blur it out or stop some of the audio,” Little said.
The purchase of the software will allow the department to more easily redact sensitive information and share requests directly. The software can be programmed to save and store specific footage, Little said.
“We won’t have that continuous storage problem and manpower hours,” Little said. “It’s gonna save us a lot of time.”
The equipment and software will cost $49,200 over a five-year period, roughly $10,000 a year. The cameras will be replaced every 30 months, regardless of condition, through the contract with Pro-Vision.
The department is hoping to purchase the body cameras and test the software in January.
Body cameras have helped the Edinburgh Police tremendously since they were donated in 2020 — both in holding officers accountable and in stopping complaints, Little said. Town resident Chianne Woodall and her granddaughters sold baked goods at the farmers market and partnered with the 8th Day Riders to host a car show fundraiser for the camera purchase.