CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV)- More North Carolina communities are hoping to increase the number of dashboard cameras in patrol cars.
The city of Gastonia is looking to purchase 40 dash cams for Gastonia Police cars. There’s also word that state lawmakers are interested in outfitting more highway patrol vehicles with cameras.
Currently, more than half of the Highway Patrol cars in Charlotte do not have dash cams. Highway Patrol Sergeant Jeff Nash says the tight state budget makes it difficult to equip the vehicles with cameras, which cost about $5000 each.
Nash says dash cams can be extremely helpful for troopers and the community.
“I find it helps as far as evidence is concerned,” said Nash. “When attending court and obtaining convictions on crimes, a lot of times a person will say one thing happened. We put the video in, and a lot of times it shows an entirely different sequence of events.”
Last year, dash cam video cleared the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department of wrongdoing when it showed a teenager strangling herself with her own seat belt in the back of a patrol car.
According to CMPD, every police car on patrol in Charlotte is required to have a dash camera. The state is lagging in comparison. Of the 25 highway patrol cars in Charlotte, ten have cameras. The other fifteen go without.
“If we had more it’d be great,” said Nash. He hopes the General Assembly will allocate more money for equipment this year. However, he also says he realizes times are tough and other groups, like teachers, are also in need.
Stay with wbtv.com for updates on this story. We’ll let you know if state lawmakers decide to equip more patrol cars with cameras.
Copyright 2013 WBTV. All rights reserved.