District attorney presents

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 5, 1999

cameras to Troy Police


Staff Writer

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Published Oct. 5, 1999

Extra money in the budget of District Attorney Mark Fuller’s office is going to buy equipment to assist area police officers in their investigations.

The money comes from budget excess at the end of the fiscal year, Fuller said. He is the district attorney for the 12th Judicial Circuit, which includes Pike and Coffee counties.

He used some of those funds to buy two Cannon EOS Rebel cameras with flashes and two camera cases for use by the Troy Police Department. The cameras will be used by Sgt. Clark Boutwell and Sgt. Wayne Floyd in the investigation of traffic fatalities and by other officers in crime scene reconstruction.

A camera will be carried in the police car of each of the accident investigators, who are on call 24-hours a day, said Sgt. Benny Scarbrough, TPD public information officer.

The two officers work on fatal accidents and ones with serious injuries that might lead to fatalities, Scarbrough said.

"A lot of the evidence in a fatal wreck is temporary," Floyd said. "The best way to preserve and document it is cameras."

Fuller said his office wants to assist local law enforcement agencies in getting the equipment they need because it is their job to collect evidence he uses in court.

"The DA works hand in hand with law enforcement agencies and other state agencies in investigating and gathering evidence to ultimately end in prosecution," Fuller said. "These cameras will help the Troy Police Department gather evidence to help determine issues before the court."

The cameras will aid in preparation and presentation of evidence to jury and lead to a better chance of justice being served, he said.

"The police officers make cases, and we present them," Fuller said. "We are able to make better cases when we have better evidence, which the cameras will help collect.

"It gives us a better chance of getting to trial."

Bruce Devane, chief investigator for the district attorney’s office said, "Our goal is to present the evidence. It does not always lead to a suspect being prosecuted – sometimes it clears them.

"Our goal is to present the evidence for what it is."

Fuller added, "Troy has done a very good job in training their officers to be the first on the scene and accident reconstruction."

Troy Police Chief Anthony Everage said the camera presentation is "another example of the professional relationship we have with the district attorney’s office and the continuing effort between both agencies to present good quality cases."

Scarbrough said the cameras are a great asset to the police officers, "but the best asset to this field of our department is these two officers (Boutwell and Floyd) and their training and expertise."

He said the police department thanks the district attorney and his office for buying the two cameras.

Not only did the district attorney buy equipment for the Troy Police Department – Fuller also assisted the Pike County Sheriff’s Department in buying new bulletproof vests. He said his office is also in the process of contacting the Brunddidge Police Department to assist with its equipment needs.

They decided on what equipment to buy by talking with the chief of each division to see what was needed.

"I try to help all the agencies in my circuit."