The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety is set to receive a significant upgrade to its electronic equipment after the approval of a $9-million contract. This update will include replacing patrol car mounted cameras that are 20 years old and body cams that are seven years old, which are considered ancient in terms of technology. Chief Dave Boysen expressed concerns about reliability and the difficulty in finding parts for the old equipment.
In addition to replacing outdated equipment, the department is nearly maxed out on its capacity to retain data, prompting them to convert to the cloud to handle the video coming from the 219 body cams and 61 car cams they use. A new feature being incorporated into the upgrade is a device that automatically turns the camera on whenever an officer pulls his gun or Taser, an improvement from the old system that did not have this feature. Furthermore, the department will also be replacing their Tasers with new models that work better, especially during certain times of the year.
The 10-year contract with Axon Enterprises includes training programs, regular maintenance and equipment upgrades, and unlimited data storage. This comprehensive upgrade will ensure that the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety will have access to reliable and modern technology for the foreseeable future. With this investment in technology, the department aims to improve its operations while ensuring public safety remains a top priority.