Video arraignment equipment donated to area police by Tyrone Kiwanis Club

Tyrone Kiwanis Club recently donated equipment to the Tyrone Police Department which will save money as well as time for area officers.
The system, which consists of a video camera, instant messaging software and a microphone, allows area officers to connect with a district judge online at any time.
When area police officers make an arrest during off hours, they must transport the suspect to the magisterial district judge that is on call during that time.
However, with this new equipment, judges are able conduct arraignments online via the new video conferencing system.
Magisterial district judges that are connected to this system include Fred Miller, Todd Kelly, Paula Aigner and Craig Ormsby.
Police departments currently using the system are Tyrone, Bellwood, Altoona, Logan Township, Martinsburg, Allegheny Township, Greenfield Township and Freedom Township, along with the Blair County Prison.
This technology not only save time, but also money, as officers are not transporting individuals back and forth throughout the county.
Also, officers are able to remain in their coverage area.
Magisterial District Judge Fred Miller said he has been using the system for about two months and has conducted approximately 20 arraignments.
“Tyrone and Bellwood officers still come here, because they’re so close, but I have used this system extensively with Altoona and Logan Township,” said Miller.
He also explained using the video conferencing system is a matter of safety as it helps cut down on the transportation of prisoners. Arraignments can be held for individuals who are in jail without having to transport them to the court. Although, individuals are still required to be present for the actual hearings.
Miller credits Ormsby for working to connect district courts with local police departments.
Bellwood Police Officer Joe Schleck said officers also use the system to exchange information with other police departments.
“It saves us a trip,” Schleck said, “It’s really a great tool.”
He also noted officers use the system fairly often but have no major problems.