The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety is set to receive a significant upgrade for its electronic equipment after the approval of a $9-million contract. This upgrade will include the replacement of 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.
One of the main issues with the current equipment is their limited capacity to retain data. With over 219 body cams and 61 car cams in use, the department is nearly maxed out on storage space, prompting them to convert to the cloud to handle the video coming from these devices. A new feature being incorporated into this upgrade is a device that automatically turns on the camera whenever an officer pulls his gun or Taser, an improvement from the old system that did not have this feature.
In addition, the department will also be replacing their Tasers with new models that work better, especially during certain times of the year. This comprehensive upgrade will ensure that the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety has access to reliable and modern technology for years to come. The 10-year contract with Axon Enterprises includes training programs, regular maintenance and equipment upgrades, and unlimited data storage.