Delray Beach Police Department wants more dashboard cameras in their vehicles

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - When three Boca Raton police officers teamed up to lift a car off of a six-year-old last month, it was all captured on a police car dashboard camera.

If the same thing had happened in Delray Beach, the life-saving moment would likely have been lost the second it was over.

"Everybody's got video and everything, and we don't," said Sgt. Richard Jacobson of the Delray Beach Police Department.

Only ten of about 150 Delray Beach police squad cars are outfitted with dashboard cameras that include a digital camera and audio system.

Traffic Officer Andrew Collaretti frequently drives one of the dash-cam equipped cars.

"That's the reason I pulled you over, I saw you didn't have your seat belt," Collaretti said as he spoke to a driver he pulled over on Monday.

Also watching with an unblinking eye?

His dash-cam.

A mini microphone is attached to Collarettti's belt. He says he has the driver admitting, on tape, that he wasn't wearing a seat belt and that is proof he can take to court.

"There's really no denying it from video, because you have actual events that happen in real time, and you have all the audio that goes with it," said Collaretti.

The Delray Beach Police Department is asking the city commission for 68 more dash-cams at a cost of about $350,000.

They also want to upgrade to a wireless network so videos can be uploaded to the department faster.

Sgt. Jacobson is thrilled about the help the additional cameras could give to the department's efforts to crack down on drunk drivers.

"Sometimes it's hard for those jurors to really see what you were talking about. It's good to have that evidence from the time that you pulled them over that night."

Delray Beach's city commission can either approve or reject the police department's request at Tuesday's city commission meeting.

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