Luna County DWI Program Coordinator Kathryn Smyer said her office used approximately $3,900 to purchase 32 lapel cameras and software for the police department.
Smyer said the money came from sentenced DWI offenders, who have to pay a $75 screening fee which the state says can then be used for equipment to aid law enforcement actively involved in DWI prevention and apprehension. She said those fees raise approximately $7,000 a year in Luna County.
Deming Police Chief Michael Carillo said the cameras will be assigned to patrol officers to record traffic stops of suspected DWI offenders. He added that the cameras will be on at all times, so the technology will help document accidents, domestics and other events encountered by patrol officers.
Carillo said they were very appreciative of the DWI council’s approval of the camera purchase, adding that the lapel cameras will replace the aging dash cams in the patrol units – many of which are inoperable and becoming obsolete.
Smyer said they also purchased two cameras for the Luna County Sheriff’s Department, which had previously purchased the bulk of the deputies’ cameras with grant funds.