Warner Robins police dog fitted with camera

WARNER ROBINS -- A Warner Robins police dog has been fitted with a camera that allows its handler to view what the dog sees.

For example, the K-9 mounted video camera system allows for the dog to be sent into a building to allow its handler to view how many suspects are inside and if any are armed, said Tabitha Pugh, public information officer for Warner Robins police.

The camera, which has a built-in DVR that records audio and video, is mounted on the top of a vest that the dog wears, Pugh said. The handler wears a mobile viewing screen that attaches to his wrist for real-time viewing, she said.

The camera, which is positioned to shoot video from between the dog’s ears, also is equipped with a flood illuminator that allows for low-light and infrared viewing and recording.

“It’s definitely going to be used as a great asset for officer safety ... just the fact that a canine is sent in before an officer to see the suspect,” Pugh said.

Ego, a multipurpose police dog often used in tracking and sniffing out drugs, was fitted with the camera Tuesday. His handler is Warner Robins police Sgt. Wayne Fisher.

Fisher has been training with Ego, and the dog is adjusting well as it gets used to wearing the camera, Pugh said.

The $8,000 camera was made possible by a grant from the National Tactical Officers Association, Pugh said.

She credited Warner Robins police grant writer Melanie Byer with securing the funds.

Warner Robins police is among a few law enforcement agencies that have the cameras nationwide and the only agency in Georgia to date, Pugh said.

“We’re very thankful to the association for picking us,” Pugh said. “We’re very excited about it.”

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.