Cops score cruiser camera

MOUNT DESERT — The police department here is buying a $4,700 digital video camera for its pickup truck for less than $1,200.

The cost difference will be covered by a grant from the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety.

The grant program is part of the bureau’s effort to reduce traffic accidents resulting from speeding and drunk driving. Together, alcohol and speed accounted for 84 of the 144 traffic facilities in Maine in 2013, according to the highway safety bureau.

The bureau is offering law enforcement agencies across the state grants of 75 percent of the cost of traffic enforcement equipment such as in-cruiser video cameras.

The Mount Desert Police Department has video cameras in three vehicles. The cameras in two cruisers are up to date, but the one in the pickup truck is nearly seven years old and due for replacement, according to Chief Jim Willis.

“During the past year, we’ve experienced issues with it that required down time when it was sent back for repairs,” he said in a memo to Town Manager Durlin Lunt.

“Purchasing another digital system would bring all of our cruisers in line with each other and allow us to operate under one protocol for data retrieval and storage,” Willis said.

The board of selectmen Monday night authorized the police department to accept the state grant and purchase the new video camera.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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