Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Costs keep police from wearing body cams despite growing public supportSubmitted: 04/08/2019
Stephen Goin
Stephen Goin
Reporter/Anchor
sgoin@wjfw.com

Costs keep police from wearing body cams despite growing public support
WAUSAU - Body cameras can protect police officers and the people they serve, but many departments in Wisconsin don't use them.

They can provide much needed context for difficult interactions between the law and civilians. That was the case for a policeman in Crandon two years ago.

In October 2017, a Crandon police officer was attacked during a traffic stop by a man who was drunk and high.

When the officer shot and killed him, the body cam footage showed he was justified when that man tried to take his gun.

More than 90 per cent of people in Wisconsin support police wearing body cameras, according to a new study by the Wisconsin Professional Police Association.

But Axon, a leading body cam manufacturer, says only 60 of Wisconsin's more than 500 police and sheriff's departments use their product.

The Wausau Police Department is one of them.

"Our patrol officers are mandated to use their body cameras any time that they're having a contact with a member of the public," said Wausau Police Captain Todd Baeten.

Wausau PD is so proud of its body cameras, it even posted about them on Facebook this weekend.

"Our profession is one that's under intense scrutiny to begin with … body camera is just kind of another opportunity for the officers to show that they're maintaining really high standards," said Baeten.

But storing all the data body cameras collect can be expensive, costing tens of thousands of dollars a year.

"That's an extremely large amount of money for the Rhinelander Police Department," said Rhinelander Police Chief Lloyd Guathier.

At about $2 million, RPD's budget is more than four times smaller than Wausau's.

Guathier added that the extra data would create extra work, too.

"When you have that much more data, that's more time the employee has to be going through," said Gauthier.

But he said body cams would ultimately be worth it if they money was there.

"We're very supportive of the idea, but it all comes down to cost."

It costs the Wausau Police Department $50,000 a year to store data from body and dash cams, as well as footage from interview rooms.

That's close to how much it would cost to hire another officer, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Donations to members of the military will fill the lobbies of local banks soon as part of a care package donation drive.

Rhinelander's Military Support Group kicked off its 19th donation drive this fall, partnering with People's State Bank for the third year.

"We have vets working for us, we have families of vets, a lot of our base is vets, that's just a strong community base for us," said commercial banking specialist Stacy Timm.

Nearly 7,300 items were donated in 2017 and 8,900 items were collected last year.

A brat fry earlier this month, raised just under 700 dollars to help send those donations to veterans and active duty service members.

Support group member LeRoy Eades said donations mostly go to Wisconsin service members who can't make it home for the holidays.

"A lot of them won't be home for Christmas, so this is just a little piece of Christmas we're giving to them," said Eades.

Peoples State will accept donations until Veterans Day on November 11. Donation drop-offs can be found at bank locations in Rhinelander, Wausau, Rib Mountain, Weston, Eagle River, Minocqua and Marathon.

The below items are popular and in need:
  • Lip balm
  • Eye drops
  • Waterless hand sanitezer
  • Anti-fungul creme
  • Gold Bond powder
  • Shampoo
  • Nuts
  • Trail mix
  • Hard candy
  • Cookies
  • Granola bars
  • Gum
  • Pre-sweetened powdered drink mix
  • Men's white crew socks

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Finding a qualified child care service becomes more difficult as workers move to other areas.

+ Read More

Play Video

THREE LAKES - Laura Lowry felt the lack of a book store was a void in the Three Lakes area. She said the ability to pick a book off the shelf can't be replaced by online retailers.

"I think bookstores allow you to discover what you never knew you came in to look for," said Lowry. "They allow you to find things you may not have been able to search for online."

Lowry believes the buy local movement has led to a resurgence in small, independent bookstores like hers.

"In the last year, there's been 97 new bookstores opened in the country, as compared to 14 bookstores in each of the previous three years," said Lowry.

Mind Chimes is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 to 5. Besides books, you can also buy a hot cup of tea.

+ Read More

MADISON - The National Guard is investigating allegations that Wisconsin commanders are trying to force a sergeant out of the service after he complained about sexual misconduct in his unit.

Wisconsin Air National Guard Master Sgt. Jay Ellis' complaint last year has triggered two federal investigations. Both probes are ongoing.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Three Wisconsin agencies will team up to figure out how Perfluorooctanoic acid or, PFAS compounds move and change.

The Department of Natural Resources, State Lab of Hygiene, and UW-Madison plan to start the study this fall.

PFAS compounds, which can have negative health impacts, have been found in drinking water systems across the state, including Rhinelander.

Erin Mani, an organic chemist at the State Lab of Hygiene says one purpose of this study is to figure out where PFAS come from.

+ Read More

Play Video

ST. GERMAIN - Few things can ruin a Friday night fish fry in Wisconsin - except maybe a lack of fish.

"A lot of those Lake Erie perch are ending up on the plates of Wisconsin restaurants and Wisconsin suppliers, so when something happens to Lake Erie … then the restaurants and suppliers can feel that," said DNR Fisheries Supervisor David Boyarski.

Faced with a shortage of yellow lake perch, Cathy Kuske, DJ's Northwoods Family Restaurant manager, has found a way to combat the issue.

"When I ask the distributor how much they have, he'll tell me how many cases and I'll order twice as many cases as I normally do, just so we don't run out," said Kuske.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER -
A new show soon to be available for streaming includes a few familiar Wisconsin faces.

'Truth or Legends' covers all things haunted, supernatural, and spooky.

The Fox Valley Ghosthunters will be the only group from the Badger state represented in the new show 'Truth or Legends.'

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: