Cameras rolling for road police
EVERYTHING Nambour Road Police Unit officer Sergeant Nathan Richards sees becomes electronic evidence with two clicks of a button.
While privately-owned body-worn cameras are common with police across the state, Sgt Richards and a handful of his colleagues are the only Sunshine Coast officers with police-issue devices.
They have been using them for about the past six months as part of a trial to determine the most suitable make of camera to be rolled out to all frontline police.
Their models have been deemed the most suitable, so they have been allowed to continue using them.
The official state-wide roll-out began with Gold Coast police last week.
Benefits of body-worn cameras have been explored this week during two Coroner's inquests into fatal police shootings on the Coast.
Footage of the incidents proved integral in the investigations into officers' actions.
Sgt Richards said he and his colleagues were yet to draw any negatives from using the police-issue devices.
"Anytime I am talking to a member of the public I am recording," Sgt Richards said.
The camera, which sits on the side of his sunglasses, is switched on with two presses of a button located in the battery pack in his vest.
It is switched off by holding the button on for three seconds.
He said there was no way the footage could be tampered with before being downloaded into a secure cloud-based server.
Sgt Richards said it was great for gathering evidence that could be used when matters went to court.
"I find it invaluable.
"It makes police act more professionally because we know we are on camera."
He said members of the public also tended to be better behaved when they knew they were being filmed.