New Video Technology Benefits Police Department

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)__After Monday's incident at Topeka's Knightsbridge Apartments where a suspect, who charged an officer with a knife, was shot and killed, police were quickly able to revisit the shooting thanks to new technology.

Police Chief Ron Miller says the entire confrontation was captured on a body camera worn by the officer. The technology gives Topeka police a whole new point of view.

Two years ago the Topeka Police Department was approached with a new product, the Taser Axon Body Video. Captain Scott Conklin says "They approached us because we are a Taser user and we tried it for six months and loved it."

The department quickly ordered 30, but the product didn't come cheap. Equipment, maintenance and storage for each unit is around $2800 dollars. The money was covered by special grant. Officers say this technology is priceless.

Conklin believes in the product, he says, "It will keep the officers and citizens safe. Any time you are aware that your actions are being recorded, you are more inclined to do the right thing."

The camera is about the size of a small pack of gum. It can be mounted to the head or collar and records everything the officer sees. Captain Conklin says it provided valuable evidence in Mondays incident. "Chief Miller was the first to see the video. The video doesn't lie. He was not happy that our officers were put into that situation but based on everything he saw he knew they acted appropriately with the situation he was confronted with.

Conklin says the cameras are just the latest advance he's seen in his 25 years with TPD. He says, "When I came in we had typewriters and no computers. I think technology is fantastic and I think the department needs more of it."

Chief Miller has requested the city council include funding for more Taser Axon Body Video units in the departments 2014 budget.


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