SEPTA arming transit cops with secret body cameras

SEPTA is arming its police force with more equipment to catch more criminals.

“Another tool for cheese sandwich delivery,” said SEPTA Transit Police Chief Thomas Nestel.

Nestel, who attaches the hashtag #cheesesandwich (which represents the meal given to detainees in the department’s lockup) to many of his @TNestel3 Tweets, announced Tuesday that his officer’s are testing new surveillance cameras.

The cameras, which capture both audio and video, are built into the officer’s radio microphone, which is clipped to the officer’s chest.

“That’s nice for the cops because we already have enough crap on our belts,” he said. “The Batman-like utility belt only has so much room and integrating (cameras) into police equipment we already have is nice.

There are a lot of cameras positioned within SEPTA stations as well as its trains and vehicles, “But none of them have sound,” Nestel said. “Often what we find is on the platforms we’re taking a 40-foot view of what occurs. This is a view 2-feet from the person you’re talking with.”

SEPTA Transit Police are testing the devices for 60 days. These special radio’s are going into effect this week and will be outfitted on three patrol officers.

If SEPTA decides to purchase the cameras — for which it would seek grant funding — not all of its 275 officers will be armed with the special radios. Only about 200 officers on patrol would receive the device.

“We’re experimenting,” Nestel said. “We’re seeing if it’s conducive for our environment and if it’s beneficial for transit policing in general.”

Nestel hopes the cameras will:

  • Reduce the number of “Use of force” incidents
  • Reduce the number of complaints
  • Help investigate complaints

“And reduce court overtime because we’ll have video of the incident and an officer won’t be necessary for court,” Nestel said. “And we’re hoping it will increase the number of guilty pleas.”

Follow Tommy Rowan on Twitter: @tommyrowan


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.