Martinsburg Woman's Memory Helping Fund Digital Ally Police Cameras

MARTINSBURG, BLAIR COUNTY - Dash cameras in police cars catch some of the most bizarre and dangerous situations officers deal with on a daily basis.

“You see it on TV all the time, and we're a small community, and it's a luxury it's not something we can just afford,” Candy Hoover of Martinsburg said.

Those luxuries could be coming to Blair County thanks to the Leah Hoover Memorial Fund.

“I was really happy when the Hoovers approached us and asked us if we were interested in them donating some systems to us,” Martinsburg Police Chief Kerry Hoover said.

Martinsburg Borough and Roaring Spring Police would get one camera for each department.  They'll run around $4,000 a piece.  Candy and her husband Don are planning to donate money from their daughter, Leah’s, memorial fundraisers to pay for the cameras.  Leah died on February 13, 2005 from smoke inhalation during a house fire.  The Hoovers wanted to check out how the cameras work before they write the check.

These cameras can zoom in to focus on license plates during traffic stops.  Chief Hoover said that's going to be a big help.  He said they'll see the biggest benefit in court.

“Dealing with prosecution, everything is on camera.  You know the saying a picture tells a thousand words, it will really benefit us with prosecution,” Chief Hoover said.

“You can manually reach up and hit the record button here and now we've activated record and it gave us the last 30 to 60 seconds before we hit record,” Digital Ally salesman Jim Coleman said.  Digital Ally is the business the Hoovers are working with to buy the cameras.

The Hoovers have donated money from the fund for thermal imaging cameras, smoke detectors, and other protective devices.  They say this is what Leah would have wanted.

“It keeps her name out there. It's basically making something good come out of a horrible situation,” Candy said with tears in her eyes.

The Hoovers are planning the annual Leah Hoover Memorial Ride to raise funds.  It’s scheduled for Sunday, July 26, 2009 at the Morrisons Cove Memorial Park in Martinsburg.  You can register and find more information by clicking here.  The Hoovers are also looking for sponsors.

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