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Bayfield police installing new computer tablets in patrol units

Technology will allow officers to view live bodycam footage
Bayfield Police Department will soon install eight new computer tablets into patrol units. (Durango Herald file)
Mar 1, 2024
Bayfield police getting new bodycams

Bayfield Police Department plans to install new computer tablets into each of its eight patrol units as part of a larger effort to obtain the latest technology and improve communications while dealing with calls.

“We needed to be doing the same system that Durango dispatch is doing. That way, our officers can communicate a lot better with them and can see what everybody else is doing in the county as far as who’s on the system,” said Bayfield Police Chief Michael Hoguet. “Right now, we don’t see what other officers or other agencies are doing.”

Aside from monitoring fellow officers and agencies, the new tablets will allow officers to relay information to dispatch, type notes and do reports on every call, which will allow them to stay in the field more often so they can be closer to in-progress calls.

“It allows us to be out and about more because we can do everything in our car now,” Hoguet said.

Bayfield will have the same computer tablet and computerized dispatch setup as Durango Police Department and La Plata County Sheriff’s Office. That way, Bayfield officers won’t have to keep going in and out of the office to make reports.

The project has been in the works for about two years and the process finally got rolling about six months ago.

Although the tablets are separate technology from new body camera equipment Bayfield police will have, Hoguet said officers will be able to view live-feed footage on their mounted tablets.

“They’re all touch screen, so they can touch and see ... what’s going on,” he said, adding that officers backing up other officers on calls can view the activity before arriving. “It allows you to have better situational awareness as you’re responding so they can understand what tactics are needed when they get on scene.”

The new tablets will be installed in police units around mid-March, Hoguet said.

“We’re going through a big transition right now trying to get everybody ready for it,” he said.

Hoguet said installing each of the eight new tablets for Bayfield’s eight officers will cost $600 to $700 apiece.


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