• Department of corrections installs cameras on transport vans


    ATLANTA - Channel 2 Action News got exclusive access Thursday to new cameras being added to jail transport vans.

    Atlanta jail officials said it will give a clear account of what happens while suspects are riding with officers.
    Channel 2’s Erin Coleman looked on Thursday as technicians install what will be a first for a metro Atlanta law enforcement agency cameras in transport vans.
    “We want to increase public trust,” said Atlanta Department of Corrections Chief Pat Labat.
    Labat told Coleman they purchased a bus with cameras six months ago.
    But, after the incident in Baltimore where Freddy Gray died in police custody after being in a van there, Labat fast-tracked getting cameras in transport vans here.

    “Ninety-nine percent of people in the business get into the business for the right reason and they are doing a good job. So we want to increase that public trust and show people exactly what we're doing,” Labat said. 
    The cameras start rolling every time the driver turns on the engine so he or she can see what's going on in the back compartments and the driver can also hear what's going on.
    When the engine stops, the video continues to roll for several minutes. Something that could be key.
    And it has the capability to do a lot more.
    “When you couple the technology with body cameras, the newest conversation if you will, to be able to link the two and really close the gap on any questions that may occur during transport,” Labat said.
    While there are still questions about what really happened to Freddy Gray, from people in Atlanta, Labat said:

    “We'll never say something will not happen, but at least if it does we'll have an eye on it.”
    Labat said they are starting with five vans which will cost about $20,000 in total.
    The remaining seven vans already in their fleet will get cameras likely in July.

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