Maine state police are replacing their bulky video cameras and recorders with sleeker digital models. Chief Pat Fleming says the new technology is an improvement, but the agency is making the transition gradually.
"The cameras themselves are about $5,000 apiece for the systems," Fleming told Capitol News Service. "It's one of those things that we can't afford to go out and buy them for all the cruisers out on the road, so we're kind of doing it piecemeal. That's why we still have some of the old VHS tapes out there. But we're slowly transitioning over, when we can find grants that will pay for it."
VHS video tapes were once the standard for law enforcement to record arrests from cruiser-mounted cameras. Fleming says the newer digital recordings take up less storage space than VHS tapes. He says that can be an issue because many recordings have to kept for months until cases are resolved.
(Source: "Technology Upgrade in Works for Maine State Police", MPBN, September 4, 2009.)