DETROIT (WXYZ) - Detroit is facing a financial crisis but the city's police department is putting 40 new squad cars out onto the streets.
The vehicles all feature state-of-the-art video recording equipment. The cars and technology were purchased as part of a $2.5 million federal grant from the Department of Justice.
Additional new vehicles will be added to the department's fleet in the coming months. Older squad cars will also be retrofitted with the Data 911 system. In all, 250 patrol vehicles will have the new technology.
"These are obviously tools that are essential for a police department," said Ralph Godbee, Jr., Detroit's Police Chief.
"I think it lowers the city's risk immensely, it helps the citizens have confidence in our police department and then it will help our officers do their job professionally with the evidence they will need in certain instances to support their claims," Godbee added.
The use of video cameras is one of the areas were DPD is not yet in compliance with the two federal consent judgments. The federal monitor's most recent report shows the department is 83 percent in compliance.
July, 2012 is the deadline for changes to be made in department policies and procedures.
Chief Godbee told 7 Action News the new vehicles and technology are "major steps for our department."