Willoughby Hills Police Department deploys body cams

·2 min read

Jul. 2—The Willoughby Hills Police Department has recently deployed the body cameras that arrived in early June of this year.

According to Mayor Andy Gardner, the body cameras are currently being worn by officers on shifts. Officers have been field training and the cameras have already provided valuable video evidence for some court cases and footage for training opportunities to be used in the future.

"We're in the early stages," Gardner said. "They've been tested, installed and we're now working through everyday getting used to wearing them, and using them every day. We're still hopeful that we'll get a grant that will cover about half the cost for the $60,000 investment. We are awaiting that anxiously."

The cameras have been viewed as a way to address the ongoing challenges in maintaining the public's perception of law enforcement not only at a local level, but throughout the country, as well as improve the department's practices, Police Chief Matthew Naegele previously told The News-Herald.

The technology the body cameras offer include real time information when used by officers on patrol or other assignments and brings them into contact with members of the community, Naegele said.

"In many communities throughout the country, there's a lack of trust in law enforcement," he said. "We're fortunate here in Willoughby Hills that it does not exist."

According to Naegele, the department has garnered support from not only residents, but members of city leadership. However, this does not mean the department still shouldn't have a system and technology in place that doesn't continue to garner that, he said.

"It's only a matter of time that it becomes a mandate for police departments throughout Ohio and the country to support programs like this," he said. "I think it's appropriate that we get ahead of the curve and I think we have a great opportunity to move forward with a great technology. We have a great police department here and the professionalism these officers exude on a daily and nightly basis — I can't begin to explain."