SPD to get $379K video software upgrade

Staff Writer
Herald Democrat
Sherman Police Chief Zachary Flores speaks before the Sherman City Council regarding new video software that promises to increase efficiency with regard to the department's video evidence collection.

The Sherman Police Department will soon get new, up to date video camera and evidence technology.

The Sherman City Council has agreed to enter into a four-year, $379,000 agreement with Motorola Solutions software for its video evidence needs. City officials said this upgrade will bring the department up to current standard and increase both quality and efficiency of its video services

“It is definitely one of the more state-of-the-art systems that law enforcement has these days,” Police Chief Zachary Flores said Monday. “Naturally, video is one of our best pieces of evidence and it is something that the public expects and we want to be able to give the public the level of service they expect.”

Sherman Police Officers are required to record video evidence, via dash cam or body cam, any time they have an interaction with the public. Given the scale of the department, this cam result in dozens of hours of video on a daily basis.

“When you think of there being anywhere from seven to 10 officers on the street at any time, at least one is recording,” Flores said. “There is probably more than 24 to 36 hours of video being recorded each day.”

The new WatchGuard Video Evidence Solutions software will replace the city’s current L3 software, which Flores described as antiquated. The owners of the departments current software platform are focusing their efforts on other programs that would require a complete re-outfitting of the entire department.

Under the current system, Flores said the department has staff that burn DVDs of video evidence “all day, every day” which are then transported to the district attorney’s office.

Under the new system, officers will be able to tag video while in their vehicles. This will immediately make the video accessible to the department the the DA’s office, Flores said.

This transition will eliminate the need for the DVDs and allow staff to be move elsewhere for a more efficient department, Flores said.

In the event of an emergency or a critical situation, Flores said the department will be able to act quickly to get information out to the public as soon as possible.

“Whenever an incident does happen, for me as a chief it is important that we get those things out to the public as quickly as possible.”

The digitized evidence will be stored on site with redundancy back up. These files and servers will be able to be transported to the new police department once it is completed.

The agreement calls for $100,790 for the initial payment with three additional annual payments of $92,795. At the end of the contract, the city will be able to look for upgrades to its system.

“In order to do that we need a reliable system that meets our needs,” Flores said noting the scrutiny that police are under right now.

The contract consists of $100,000 a year for four years and the ability to upgrade at end of agreement.

“It is not just something that we prefer — it is expected,” Flores said.

Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at mhutchins@heralddemocrat.com.