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Grant helps state police install cameras in patrol cars

October 26, 2000

The Michigan State Police is installing 58 new video camera systems in patrol cars across the state thanks to a large federal grant.

The $247,892 grant was given to the department as part of a $12 million effort to help install cameras in police cruisers in 41 states.

Michigan already has 122 cameras deployed across the state, including four in the Lansing area. The first cameras came to Michigan in 1992, but the dramatic increase in purchases has come during the past two years.

Two of the new cameras ordered with the grant money are being installed in cars in Jackson and Brighton.

Nancy Becker, the grants coordinator for the Michigan State Police, applied for the grant on behalf of the department in July and received word of its acceptance two months later.

“(The new cameras) will be very significant in curbing drunk driving and aggressive driving cases,” Becker said.

“They’re there for the safety of both the officers and the citizens. When they know they’re being taped, both parties’ behavior is better,” she said. “With more video cameras in the area we are hoping to continue seeing even more dramatic results.”

The cameras are most useful in helping to document cases of drunken driving, aggressive driving and reckless driving cases, Michigan State Police Sgt. John Faccio said.

“It helps to increase our conviction rate because you can take the videotape into the court and show it to the jury,” he said. “It also cuts down on repeat offenders because they know they are less likely to get away with it.

“These cameras are just a very effective and beneficial tool for us to have.”

The state police department is not the only law enforcement agency with cameras installed in its patrol cars.

The Detroit Police Department announced the installation of video systems in more than 300 of its patrol cars to provide a clear record of police encounters. The cameras were installed following announcements that Detroit was leading the nation among large cities in deadly police shootings.

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