Lovington Police to Be Fully Equipped With Body Cams, Hobbs Soon to Follow

Lovington Police to Be Fully Equipped With Body Cams, Hobbs Soon to Follow

By Alicia Neaves

NewsWest 9

HOBBS/LOVINGTON - Body cameras are making their way to more uniforms of law enforcement officers. Our neighbors in Hobbs and Lovington are the latest to jump on board.

"This has obviously been a very tough year and I think the perception is not only do police officers tend to behave better with body cameras but the public behaves a lot better when they see we're wearing a body cam and they're being recorded," David Miranda, Detective for the Lovington Police Department, said.

Lovington Police have unofficially been using these body cameras for half a year. After some trial programs, and some help from a FEMA grant, they were able to purchase 22 body cams for their officers.

"We hope in a month or two, all of our officers will be equipped with body cameras," Miranda said.

These body cameras aren't cheap either. Each can range in price from $200 to $800.

"One flip when I'm on a traffic stop or we're doing a search warrant or an arrest and the audio and video is perfect," Miranda said.

Detective Miranda commends the convenience of the body cameras when it comes to retrieving old footage for a court case but admits they take some getting used to when remembering to turn them on and off.

Just down the road in Hobbs, they are currently testing out which type of body camera works best for their officers. They tell NewsWest 9 they budgeted for these devices well before July.

"When we first heard about body cameras, we were intrigued by it. It was something we wanted to explore," Brian Dunlap, Deputy Chief of the Hobbs Police Department, said.

Deputy Chief Brian Dunlap says as new technology unfolds, they want to make certain they invest in the right device. They also pay close attention to user reviews.

"We've kind of looked at everybody's issues they've been having with them. Having to turn the button on, some of the limitations on downloading and some of that stuff. There's technology available now and we want to get the most bang for our buck," Dunlap said.

"I think it offers greater transparency between police and the public. These days, that's a good thing," Miranda said.

Deputy Chief Dunlap also tells NewsWest 9 they still have two more systems to evaluate after the new year before they can narrow it down to the device that works best for Hobbs Police.