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New Police Body Cameras Start Recording Automatically

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (CBS11) - Several police departments across North Texas are starting to switch to a new body camera system that is automatically triggered to record.

The Grand Prairie Police Department was one of the first to equip officers with the cameras.

new body cam
Hitting "record" on a body camera could soon become automatic for police officers in several cities across North Texas. (Jeff Paul - CBS11)

"That split second of time could mean the difference between a positive and negative outcome," said Assistant Chief Ronnie Morris.

The technology allows officer to focus at the situation at hand rather than worrying about hitting record.

"We're trying to make it as easy as possible for the officers that when they encounter a dynamic situation, that we take that out of the situation for them. That, that doesn't have to be one of the things that rolls through their mind," said Morris.

Grand Prairie Police show off new body cam
Grand Prairie Police demonstrate the new body cam (Jeff Paul - CBS11)

The body camera is automatically triggered if officers turn on their taser, flip their emergency lights on, crash their vehicle or exceed 85 miles per hour.

In a few weeks, their body cameras will also activate each time they unholster their gun.

The body cameras not only have automatic triggers for recording, but they also capture what happened 30 seconds prior to the camera being activated.

"It's always great for transparency. Sharing more information. More is always better than less," said Morris.

Grand Prairie is one of at least eight cities in the DFW Metroplex that have or are in the process of getting some sort of automatically triggered body camera.

Morris believes as times goes on the number will only grow.

"If it's something that law enforcement can show what we do and we can be more transparent and we can help to improve public trust across the country, then it's a win," said Morris.

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