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Over 60 Surprise police officers to wear cameras

PHOENIX -- More than 60 police officers in Surprise, Ariz. will soon be equipped with on-body cameras, the city's police department said Wednesday.

"These cameras add a new level of documentation that will be very useful to officers and residents, as they capture video and audio during a traffic stop or at a crime scene in varying light and audio situations," said Surprise Police Chief Mike Frazier in a press release.

The cameras, about the size of a thumb drive, have reduced officer-related complaints in other cities. They can be affixed to an officer's shoulder, hat, sunglasses or shirt collar.

"They're small enough in size that they're not causing a significant issue with body movement and so forth," said Surprise Police Sgt. Mike Donovan, adding that the audio and video captured by the camera will aid police in prosecution.

It will cost Surprise $226,717 for 61 on-officer cameras, a warranty and space to store the video captured. A majority of the cost was paid using seized assets.

Surprise experimented with the cameras for one year before making the decision to equip all officers with cameras.

Phoenix and Mesa police also use on-officer cameras.

About the Author

Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.


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