ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WFRV) – Critical technology promoting transparency for law enforcement is being put to use in Ashwaubenon. Where Friday Ashwaubenon’s police chief unveiled body cameras, purchased for every officer on the force.
At Ashwaubenon Public Safety Department all officers will soon be outfitted with body cameras. Technology that Chief Brian Uhl had been lobbying for since joining the department last year.
“Really, it’s a protection for our officers. Instead of seeing just a small clip of what may be captured on a cell phone, it really provides the entire picture for everyone to see and analyze,” said Chief Uhl.
In March, the village board approved a 5-year, $500,000 contract with manufacturer Axon for 51 body cameras, 20 tasers, squad cams and equipment for digital storage. But village leaders say the purchase wouldn’t have happened without a $200,000 donation from the Green Bay Packers.
“We are really excited for Ashwaubenon to bring this tool into their public safety program,” said Aaron Popkey from the Green Bay Packers.
“Without the contribution from the Green Bay Packers this would not have been a program that would have been implemented this year for sure,” said Village President Mary Kardoskee.
Village officials say deployment of this equipment comes at a good time, as law enforcement agencies across the nation work to improve transparency and build up community trust.
“I feel that in the current environment in law enforcement, it’s a really good tool for all in law enforcement to have,” said Kardoskee.
Body cameras that once on and activated, by a taster deployment or handgun removed from a holster, will always record what’s happening, even the 30 seconds prior to an event.
“If you have a critical incident you want to be able to give the entire picture,” said Uhl. ”What this will do is help validate that what we’re doing out there is really the correct thing.”
Officers were going through training today and Chief Uhl says the cameras will be deployed as soon as possible.