Pensacola Police have them, and Escambia County Deputies have them as well. Pretty soon, Gulf Breeze police will be sporting body cameras. An investigator at the police station believes providing every deputy with a camera will hold them to a higher standard.
Imagine wearing a camera, just a little smaller than your iPhone, on your chest while you work every single day. For some people, it sounds like a nightmare, but the Gulf Breeze Police Department has wanted those cameras for a few years now.
The department has a reputation for being one of the toughest in the gulf when it comes to writing tickets. Soon, they hope a new title, respect, will be added to the reputation.
“I don’t like being put in a gotcha situation, but I treat everyone with respect,” said Investigator Greg Baker. “The body camera, with it there or not there, is not going to change the way I treat people.”
The cameras are easy to use. Each officer will wear one on his chest, and it is secured with a magnet, much like a name tag. When they exit their vehicles, they’ll just tap a button on the camera to start recording.
The department has asked the city of Gulf Breeze to foot the $33,000 bill for purchasing 23 cameras.
Wednesday night, without discussion or questions, the City Council approved the request 7-0.
The City Council still needs to give their final seal of approval during the meeting next week, and it is still unclear exactly when the GBPD will be getting the cameras.