COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- The Colonial Heights Police Department has a new weapon to use to protect officers and the people they serve.
Starting this week, all uniform patrol officers will be wearing body cams, which record audio and high-definition video.
That video will be uploaded to a cloud service, where it can be shared and protected.
"These body cameras will hopefully protect the citizens and the police officers in the city by providing a clear documentation of what happened. There's no hiding what happens on this camera," Sgt. Rob Ruxer with Colonial Heights police said.
The move to body cameras comes after more than a year of looking for a system that meets the needs of the department and before the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.
At a cost of $70,000, the 42 units were purchased with money from the department's budget and using funds received through asset forfeiture.
Officers started training on Monday and by the afternoon, the first units were in service.
The lightweight camera can be mounted to eyeglasses, the officers shirt collar or epaulets with the battery pack attaching to the belt or inside a shirt pocket.
"They would activate the recording by pressing this button twice... That beep right there indicates it is now recording," Ruxer explained.
Once the officers shift is complete, they simply drop the camera and battery pack into a charger which also automatically uploads the video to the cloud.