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Waynesburg receives anonymous donation for body cameras

By DAVID HUTTON The Press-News Published: July 1, 2016 10:00 AM

WAYNESBURG - The Waynesburg Police Department has received an anonymous donation of $1,650 to pay for five more body cameras.

Police Chief William Bath recently registered the police department on the website BodyCameraDonations.com.

Efforts like BodyCameraDonations.com are among the newest trends for smaller village and town police departments in remote areas that need body cameras but can't get funding through grants or other means. This website facilitates community donations of body cameras to departments that need them.

Bath pointed out that the greatest hurdle for departments like Waynesburg in obtaining body cameras is cost.

Each camera has a serial number that is assigned to a police officer.

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"We have a few other things in the works for donations," Bath added. "We are getting close."

With the latest donation, the department will have six cameras and Bath said he ultimately hopes to have 12 cameras, one for each member of the department.

"As times are changing, any tool that you can have is important," noted Councilman Albert Woodin.

The cameras also come with software for uploading video.

The department also is looking into getting Tasers for its officers.

"Anything you need to make your job safer, we are for it," added Woodin.

As the donations come in, Bath said he is purchasing cameras that are an upgrade from the basic camera offered. Those units allow officers to hit a record button that records everything that happened up to 30 minutes prior to the pressing of the button.

"When an incident starts to escalate, you can make sure that you have everything on tape," he said. "It is very important for what we have to do. On a standard unit, it just starts recording when you hit the button. You might get the aftermath, but you miss the incident."

Village council also is considering assault rifle training for Bath, who then can train other members of the department after completing the week-long course.

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