Centerville police use Google glasses while on the job

CENTERVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Centerville police officers are roaming the streets with new technology. Officers are now equipped with glasses that record when authorities respond to call. 

In an instant, you can see what they can see. 

“It’s an extension of the, already in use, dash cam,” Lt. Phillip Pritchett with the Centerville Police Department said.

A simple traffic stop can be made transparent thanks to a new gadget that could change how police officers do their job.

“It will also help in not only policing the police, but it will help us any time a complaint comes in,” Pritchett said. 

He’s talking about the department’s “smart glass” — a lightweight, hi-tech, pair of glasses made by tech giant Google that looks like it came right out of a sci-fi movie. 

“It’s got a prism on there. It’s called a H.U.D. or heads up display. The officer can see a small screen inside,” Pritchett said. 

The department is one of two in the entire world using the technology. The police department in Dubai is the other. 

“We’re kind of getting ahead of the curve as far as the body camera trend comes in,” Officer Stephan Hutchins said. 

As the nation demands more transparency between law enforcement and the community, Centerville is leading the pack. 

Pritchett says the glasses are a step up from body cameras. 

“When the body cams are typically worn on the chest or on the pocket of the uniform, they’re only going to see what’s facing straight ahead,” Pritchett said. 

The glasses see everything an officer does — that’s why the department bought a pair for all 12 on staff. With a price tag of $1500 per pair, being one of Google’s pilot programs is helping the city save money. 

The department paid half the price — $9000 in savings for taxpayers. 

“When I signed up, we didn’t have the uproar of Ferguson (Missouri). We didn’t have those things, but as I’ve seen it come out and heard it talked about more and more, I had no doubt that my department would be on board,” Hutchins said. 

Officers say they believe the tool is a step closer in mending a nationwide effort in easing community relations, all while doing their part to protect and serve.

Pritchett says the video from the glasses are saved in cloud storage, and can be reviewed by command staff or the district attorney if ever needed for a case. 

The department rolled out the glasses the first of March, and officers give representatives from Google feedback on a weekly basis. 

Categories: Houston County, Local News

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