DERRY — The Derry Police Department is eligible for a $20,610 federal grant that the department will use to upgrade its in-car video systems.
“This is a four-year grant from the United States Department of Justice that is administered by Rockingham County,” said Police Chief Ed Garone.
The county charges a five percent administration fee, bringing Derry’s total net award to $19,580. The Town Council is scheduled to vote on the acceptance of the grant at its meeting tonight.
The sole use of the grant money will be to upgrade the department’s in-car video capabilities, according to Garone.
“Our agency has seen a growing need to document and record incidents involving our police cruisers and the interactions our officers have with the public,” said Garone. “Specifically, our in-car camera recording systems have proven to be a useful tool by putting false allegations against our officers to rest.”
The chief said the video recordings have also been useful in the prosecution of criminal offenders, especially in drunk driving cases.
The department intends to upgrade its current system by installing new high definition cameras, high fidelity microphones, and a server system that will store digital media more efficiently.
“By installing a server designated for video storage, we will eliminate the need to purchase DVD disks and will reduce the man hours needed to maintain and store our current videos,” said Garone.
The high definition cameras and high fidelity microphones will provide improved recordings, resulting in better evidence for the prosecution of crimes, according to Garone. The detailed recording will also help protect police officers from false allegations and reduce the liability for the department, he added.