The El Centro Police Department has some new high-tech equipment in its inventory, thanks to several state grants it has received over recent months.
The department's new $265,585 dispatch center, funded in part by the California Law Enforcement Equipment Program high-technology grant, went online July 31. And in a technological addition in the field, patrol officers will receive training Aug. 16 on four new video cameras that will be mounted in police units for evidence-gathering purposes.
The specially designed cameras cost $5,000 each. According to police Lt. Ron Merideth, they are much different from "off-the-shelf" video cameras. They are designed to withstand the rigors of being mounted in patrol cars and withstand the heat of Imperial Valley summers.
The cameras can be remotely operated up to 100 feet to video a traffic accident or crime scene.
"The El Centro Police Department is the first agency in the Valley to deploy the cameras on such a large scale," Merideth said in a press release.