New Mexico State Police patrolman Marcus Gonzales demonstrates the newly acquired Digital Ally Flashlight during a press conference held Wednesday at the Chaves County Administrative Center. (Mark Wilson Photo)
Marcus Gonzales, patrolman with the New Mexico State Police, led a special presentation on Digital Ally flashlights that were handed out ceremoniously to the Roswell Police Department, Chaves County Sheriffâ€™s office and New Mexico State Police officers, Wednesday.
Gonzalesâ€™ presentation included a video of a real driving while intoxicated stop that took place on highway 285, south of Roswell.
The video, shot through Gonzalesâ€™ Digital Ally flashlight, shows an intoxicated DWI suspect going through a sobriety test and failing miserably. Gonzales said that the tape â€œkept him out of court,â€ because the video served as enough evidence to convict the suspect, when the case was handed to the district attorneyâ€™s office. â€œThe camera was designed for the policing … on DWI,â€ he said.
â€œWe utilize these in administrating the standardized field sobriety test. Itâ€™s a great tool that weâ€™ve been given for policing.â€ According to Gonzales, the new flashlights cost about $1,100-$1,300 and are extremely durable. The camera has a USB port, which enables officers to attain video and audio from the device, and includes an AV port that allows officers to watch video on a television.
The cameraâ€™s internal battery can be charged for 15 hours of use. Charlotte Andrade, community developer and DWI director at the Chaves County Administrative Center, said that the flashlights will be distributed to all RPD members in Roswell after proper training. â€œThis is purchased out of our DWI grant fund,â€ she said. â€œIt is a purchase that was made by the DWI planning council.
This is to help us in our ef forts to address DWI in our community … the council agreed that it has tremendous benefits, so we decided to purchase flashlights for our other law enforcement agencies.â€ Flashlights will allow officers to record video while on duty and can be used for more than DWI stops. Ultimately, each flashlightâ€™s video feature will give every officer the power of video evidence, which Gonzales says is invaluable.
â€œIt keeps us out of the courts,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s helping us with our jobs to … be on the streets to protect. Hopefully one day, every of ficer in Chaves County can have a flashlight that has a recording device. It has been a great tool for us.â€