DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) – City council members in Duncan approved the purchase of 8 new storm sirens, which will replace their old ones, along with 8 body cameras for the police department.
The department controls the storm sirens when bad weather approaches and these new models can reach across several miles in neighborhoods. With these new body cameras they can record traffic stops and other incidents they're responding to.
"In certain instances, in certain situations we will inform the public...sir..mam your being recorded I need you to understand that a lot of times when people hear that they kind of tone back what they are doing," said Baker.
Sergeant Layle Baker said these new body cameras will allow them to record video from their point of view. They were able to get these devices all thanks to a grant totaling about $10,000 dollars.
"It creates a transparency between us and the public. When we get a compliant we can pull the video footage and get our own observations that way because a lot of times it's one sided," said Baker.
In the past they've used cameras installed inside of their car, but this will be the first time officers wear them on their uniforms.They are activated by police lights when they turn on.
However, that's not the only upgrade the department is getting. The city purchased 8 new omnidirectional storm sirens for about $56,000 dollars which are paid for through the city's general fund.
Captain Brian Attaway said they have 24 sirens in total and the eight models they are replacing date back to the late 50's and 60's.
"Most of them the parts are not available anymore and we did the best we could to get the ones working," said Attaway.
The new ones are equipped with a battery back up, so just in case the city loses power prior to a storm the department will still be able to activate them.
"I've think we seen...you never can tell when a tornado might hit the area or even high damaging winds and these devices will give our residents advanced warning to take cover," said Attaway.
Captain Attaway said once they receive the new sirens, Duncan Power will install them. It will take a week to install each siren and the goal is to have it all complete in two months.