(Eagle News) — The Philippine National Police has distributed over 2,000 body-worn cameras for use during police operations.
In a statement, the PNP said the 2696 cameras–which were purchased through a congressional allocation– were given to 170 police stations, which include the five police districts of the National Capital Region Police Office, and 15 city and municipal stations in Metro Manila.
The PNP earlier said the cameras would help protect law enforcers conducting operations and the subjects of those operations.
According to the PNP, the cameras are capable of night-vision with an object detection range of up to 10 meters.
“Yung mga police operations naman kasi ay walang pinipiling oras yan at lugar. Basta natunugan ng ating mga operatiba ay sugod kaagad (Police operations happen any time of the day and in any place. For as long as our operatives get information, they go),” PNP Chief General Guillermo Eleazar said.
He said the cameras are also water-proof and can record both audio and video for at least eight hours of continuous operation.
According to Eleazar, once the cameras start recording, the police-in-charge will immediately inform the desk officer on duty in the police station or police unit for monitoring.
All the recorded data is also sent to the PNP Command Center.
The recording will stop upon turn-over of the suspect to the detention facility, Eleazar said.
According to the PNP chief, the plan was to buy more cameras in the coming years for distribution to the remaining city and municipal police stations and to the Mobile Force Battalions and the National Operating Support Units like the Special Action Force, Maritime Group, Aviation Security Group, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Anti-Kidnapping Group, and Highway Patrol Group.
He said all in all, at least 30,000 more cameras are needed.
“Napakalaki pang budget ang kailangan dito pero tayo ay umaasa na makakakuha tayo ng suporta sa Kongreso sa mga darating na taon upang mawala na talaga ang pagdududa sa lahat ng operasyon na gagawin ng ating kapulisan (We still need a big budget but we’re hoping for Congress’ support in the coming years so people will no longer doubt the legitimacy of police operations),” Eleazar said.