CORPUS CHRISTI — Every officer in the Corpus Christi Police Department will soon be adding a new piece of technology to the front of their uniform. This tool will be a big help to them and citizens when they're out in the field.
Starting next week, body cams will become standard equipment for every police officer in the department. They'll also get some training on how to use them.
"We want to utilize any tool possible," said Captain Patrick McMenamy of the CCPD. "This will help us with criminal cases, it will help us with transparency for the public."
The department received 180 of these body cams several weeks ago. The cameras can record video anytime an officer is answering a call or performing a traffic stop.
"We don't have anything to hide," McMenamy said, "and this just backs up your version of events."
McMenamy even recalls a time when a body cam could have been useful to him.
"I've been accused of being rude or not being professional and this would have cleared me, hands down," he said.
So at the beginning of their shift, officers will take a camera off of its docking station, where it charges. At the end of their shift, the camera will be placed back on the docking station, and the video is uploaded to a department computer system. That video can be seen by supervisors and investigators in the department if needed.
"This is hands down a great thing for our department, a great thing for our city," McMenamy said. "This is going to help us with our conviction rate, building stronger cases."
If you want to view something recorded by a police officer's body cam, you'll have to file an open records request. If your request is approved, you'll get a copy of the video.