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Why Upland is replacing its police body cameras after 3 years

By in Press Enterprise on November 15, 2017

By Liset Marquez

UPLAND >> Looking to replace faulty and outdated body-worn cameras for its police force, the Upland City Council unanimously agreed to spend $240,000 over a five-year period.

The city will buy 80 Axon Body 2 cameras as well as a five-year warranty plan. Axon Enterprise, the manufacturer of both cameras, will completely replace the equipment, cameras and batteries, at the two-and-half-year mark and five-year mark of the contract, said interim Police Chief Douglas Millmore.

“We field tested that camera, and it far exceeded the performance of the ones we currently have,” he told the council Monday night.

Upland will pay $49,900 in the first year and then $47,500 the following four years. The contract also includes five additional cameras as spare backup devices.

Three years ago, the city purchased body-worn cameras for the entire police department to improve the transparency and trust with the public. That $84,000 contract also came with a one-year warranty.

“After the first year, which was the life of the battery; we had to beg, borrow, and scrounge to piecemeal the system together,” Millmore said.

It continued to work until the third year, in 2016. During that year, Upland spent $3,000 in repairs and new batteries, Millmore said.

This year, the department spent $11,000, he added.

But the last straw came last year when the manufacturer stopped making the equipment.

The department began to experience issues: batteries needed replacement, the camera would fall off officers, and faulty connections would prevent events from being properly recorded.

The current equipment, the Axon Flex cameras, comes in three pieces. The camera is worn on the collar of the officers and connected to a battery pack through a cable.

“We’ve seen, frequently, where the camera becomes dislodged and upon viewing the film you can see the camera tumbling off in one direction and the officer off in the distance,” he […]    

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