ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Thursday, Abilene City Council approved the purchase of new body cams, dashcams, and new software, enabling the Abilene Police Department (APD) to now have access to over 100 existing traffic cameras in the Key City.
“What we have realized in law enforcement is that technology is invaluable to what we do,” said Abilene Chief of Police Marcus Dudley, Jr.
Chief Dudley says this $2 million project is being funded through their apparatus fund, which will be spread out over a 5-year period.
“There’s about $1.45 million in that apparatus fund, so there’s money there, and we’ll still have funds left over should we have another essential need that comes up,” said Chief Dudley.
Additionally, this purchase will include a software package that will allow viewable access to the existing traffic cameras owned by the city.
“There’s four cameras per intersection and the cameras are focused on the different direction of travel coming into the intersection,” said City of Abilene Intern Director of Public Works Max Johnson.
Johnson says these street cameras either operate via Wi-Fi or are hardwired.
“It is specifically detecting cars that are coming through the intersection for proper operation of the signals,” said Johnson.
Once motion is detected, some are able to provide real-time footage of traffic or other movements in the area. This footage will then help APD when those calls for service come in.
“I’m thankful that the council supports the women and men who serve in providing them with the best technology to be able to do their job,” said Chief Dudley.
Dudley believes the use of this innovative technology changes the way they store digital video evidence and will help with their goal to bring a real-time information center to Abilene.
Nevertheless, Dudley says this will allow the department to provide a sense of accountability and safety for officers to do their jobs.
The city and APD want to make sure citizens know that these cameras are not red-light-cameras or speeding cameras, but are primarily used for traffic control.