A Hollister police patrol car drives down Monterey Street.

While Hollister officials approved in-car cameras for police vehicles Monday, the local police department is testing out the possible use of body cameras as well, the chief confirmed.
Hollister City Council members approved spending $87,000 in grant funds for new in-car cameras at their 6:30 p.m. Monday meeting at Hollister City Hall. In discussing the matter with the Free Lance, Police Chief David Westrick mentioned that his department in recent months has been testing body cameras as well.
Hollister police have tested several variations of body cameras with hopes of funding the mechanisms through a grant, while police will use existing grant funding to pay for the in-car cameras, Westrick said.
“It’s one of those things where it’s kind of inevitable right now,” Westrick said.
The department’s considerations come at a time when police brutality concerns are on the nation’s radar after the death of Michael Brown in Missouri at the hands of an officer there.
In choosing the in-car cameras from a company called West Guard, the department tried out five to six different kinds of equipment, Westrick said. The goal was to find something affordable and secure, while trying to cut back on the amount of time officers spend testifying in court.
Each of the affected patrol cars wil be outfitted with a camera on the dashboard pointing outward with another camera pointing toward the car’s back seat. The cameras will activate every time a police officer activates the sirens, with footage automatically uploading to an evidence server, the chief said.
As for the body cameras, Westrick hopes to bring a proposal to the council around October, he said.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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