Bryan City Council approves new equipment, several more staff for Police

By  | 

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - The Bryan Police Department is getting some new vehicles, technology, and three new officers.

Tuesday morning the Bryan City Council approved the public safety items for the upcoming fiscal year.

"Well you know as our city and our community grows with that the police department grows and so we need this new equipment, this technology to stay ahead of the game so to speak," said Assistant Police Chief Curtis Darby of the Bryan Police Department.

Darby said the new tools will help them do their job.

"There were 12 vehicles on the agenda this morning. Nine of those are just replacement vehicles," he said.

"So there were three new vehicles, in addition, to add to our fleet. As far as our Axon body cameras, Tasers and in-car video we're switching from our Panasonic to Axon so now everything we have will be Axon," said Darby.

Police have been dealing with ongoing cases of property crime to aggravated robberies, including a gas station being held up at gunpoint in the middle of the afternoon last month.

Despite those recent incidents, Mayor Andrew Nelson said police have reduced crime in the last ten years.

"I think our community needs to understand that while we are one of the fastest-growing communities in the country. Our Bryan Police Department has lowered Part 1 Crime, property crime and violent crime by 19 percent in the last three years. 49 percent over the last decade that's tremendous," he said.

"So even one crime is one too many but I want to applaud Chief Buske, our city manager, and all the police department. All the people that work together to keep these crime numbers going lower," said Nelson.

The department will be streamlining its body camera program.
They hope the new tech will build stronger cases.

"All of that combined really assists us in the crime-fighting and the prosecutors so when they can take a video of a crime to a jury it's a whole lot easier to convince a jury," said Darby.

There will also be new ways to have the cameras record.

"Also it brings in the ability to add a few features for officer safety and transparency, so now with some of this new technology we can add a piece to the officer's holster," said Darby. "And if they draw their weapon the body cam automatically comes on," he said.

The new five-year contract to purchase cameras and tasers is worth more than $2.3 million.

Once the new equipment is launched police said there will also be citizen technology that will also allow witnesses involved in a case to upload video from their phone directly to the police.