Hobbs Police Department Fleet Goes Digital

By Camaron Abundes  
NewsWest 9

HOBBS- The fleet of more than fifty police cars in Hobbs is nearly completely outfitted with a high tech digital recording system replacing old methods for capturing dash cam video.

Lt. Brian Belyeu says by next year, every police car will have an system inside the car that records video and transmits it wirelessly to a server at the police station.

"It automatically downloads to a system here just by pulling in to the parking lot," Officer Mike Stone, said.  "We've retrofitted most of our older cars."

Most Hobbs police officers no longer need a Sergeant to replace VHS tapes, instead just by pulling up every arrest or ticket is automatically sent to the 6.4 terrabyte server.

It's taken two years, but by sometime in 2009 the digital cross over will be complete.

Officer Stone says not only is it tamper proof, the evidence simply takes up less space.

"Even a violation or maybe even a crash gets recorded because it backs up a minute," he said.

The old system only started recording when an officer started it, but on the new system any time an officer starts his lights, microphone, or any other emergency device the recording keeps the previous minute of video. Sergeants or higher can view the recordings but officers can't tamper with the tapes in any way.

The Evidence is also easy to store.

"A CD or a DVD is a whole lot smaller than a VHS tape," Stone said.