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Lynchburg Police K-9's equipped with cameras thanks to donation from Liberty students

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LYNCHBURG (WSLS 10) - Students at Liberty University are helping outfit their local police department with some cutting edge technology.

The new cameras will be worn on the bodies of their K-9 partners.

Because the concept is so new, police say they are still trying to determine all of the different applications for the cameras, but say it will first be used in training.

Lynchburg is the first police department in Southwest Virginia to outfit their dogs with the cameras, and they have a group of criminal justice students to thank for it.

Katie Godwin is a senior at Liberty and President of the school's Criminal Justice Club.

After partnering with Lynchburg Police for several years, she and her peers wanted to give back.

"We were like how do we leave our legacy, not only for Liberty University but for Lynchburg as well? And I talked with Brian and he said you know what, we could really use these cameras," said Godwin.

Cameras with mounts that allow them to be worn by police dogs.

Sergeant Brian Smith says he hopes the four new devices will help his department set an example of what modern police work looks like.

"We're excited to be on that cutting edge and see what we can do with it to do what we have to do better," said Smith.

Smith says police will be putting the cameras to use immediately.

"We'll be able to use these in training, we'll have these on the dog. Let's say you want to track and we can follow that track afterwards and look at the video and see where the dog may have gone off or what might have been happening that wasn't keeping the dog on track," said Smith.

Smith says the department is also determining ways to use the cameras on actual crime scenes.

Godwin says, as she moves towards a career in criminal justice herself, she's excited to see how technology like this will enhance what police do every day.

"I'm glad we could help Lynchburg become the leading department on that source. It was a blessing for us to just give something back," said Godwin.

Godwin says criminal justice students at Liberty have been partnering with the Lynchburg Police Department for about 10 years, and she's glad to help make the relationship mutually beneficial.