PITTSBURGH (AP) - Police plan to test tiny television cameras worn
their lapels, technology that authorities hope could deter attacks
"My hope is to make the public aware that if you do something to a
officer, your picture is going to be on national TV in a
matter of minutes,"
said Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen
A. Zappala Jr.
The county will test the two cameras on officers patrolling
projects. Zappala said he is buying one of the cameras with
money and a security systems specialist will donate
the other $420 camera
Lee W. Elter II, president of Eltech Co., in Hampton Township,
three police departments, which he wouldn't identify, already
use the lapel
cameras. The cameras will send a picture back 1,000
feet along a line of
sight outdoors or 450 feet indoors, to a
receiver in a patrol car, a substation
or headquarters where it is
"It's about time the police have access to the type of technology
drug dealers can afford," Elter said.
"We have a lot of police officers assigned to the Allegheny County
sites to provide additional protection to the residents.
their lives on the line on a daily basis. It's time
that they are protected
for a change," said Mike Vogel, chief of
investigative services with the
Allegheny County Housing
Vogel and Zappala said they discussed the use of the cameras after
police officer in neighboring Beaver County was killed
in March 2001.
The cameras could play an important role in cases of domestic
where police officers are frequently placed at risk of
death or injury,
Recording a victim in a domestic violence case would prevent the
to have the complaint repeated, taking the focus off the victim
in a volatile
situation, Zappala said.
Zappala also said police departments that have videotaping
in cruisers to record traffic stops have "almost eliminated
claims" against officers.