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New 360 degree body cameras giving Groesbeck Police better views

New 360 degree body cameras giving Groesbeck Police better views
Posted at 9:58 PM, Aug 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-03 04:57:33-04

GROESBECK, TX — Little did O'Neil Asbury know, when Groesbeck police stopped for a busted headlight, he made a little Texas history.

He became one of the first Texans recorded on a 360 degree body camera.

"I did not know. Until when? Until about 5 minutes ago," he laughed.

Asbury's encounter ended up in a digital file, playable by police or prosecutors for years to come.

For years, police have used body cameras to document interactions with the public.

As he shopped for body cameras for his department, this odd-looking device caught the of Groesbeck Police Chief & City Manager Chris Henson.

New 360 degree body cameras giving Groesbeck Police better views

"The initial appearance caught my attention, and then when I saw it was promoted as 360 technology that really got my attention," Henson recalled.

Henson bought several of the Blue Line Innovations body cameras at $700 a piece and sent them out onto the streets of Groesbeck.

Shaped like a "stealth" submarine, the cameras first capture a rounded image.

Computer software then flattens the image and allows you look around in every direction.

Henson says it will help in crime-scene investigations by recording in all directions.

In the event the video becomes evidence for prosecutors, police can share the footage with them with the click of a mouse.

"Sometimes there are things that happen off-camera. And again, with the chest-mounted cameras, you're only going to see what's in front of you, not necessarily what the officer is looking at, or what's occurring next to him or behind him. This allows us to do that," explained Henson.

Chief Henson and one of the first people caught on the new cameras say they'll help improve understanding between police and the people they serve.

"I think its good access, especially for the community. I think that's something that we need, something that's long overdue," said Asbury.

And if a picture says a thousand words, think of what 360 degree pictures can tell.