Mt. Juliet, Tenn. -Smart devices, capable of recording video from the officer’s body, will begin deployment in as early as two weeks after the department recently finalized a contract with Utility Associates, Inc. to replace all patrol unit mounted cameras, equip officers with body-worn cameras, and create a digital evidence management system.
The body-worn cameras, basically a smart device, are the most advanced police body cameras available. The devices have many capabilities beyond most body cameras, which include:
- streaming “real-time” live video to dispatchers and field supervisors;
- remotely activating based on the device’s location to an active incident;
- detecting, activating, and sending alerts when the officer is in a physical struggle, running, or is down;
- detecting, activating, and sending alerts when a firearm is discharged;
- integrated inside the officer’s uniform to ensure maximum security and prevent it from being knocked off; and
- capable of receiving alerts and Be-On-The-Lookout photos from dispatch.
“Body-worn cameras are an effective law enforcement tool that will reinforce our department’s professionalism and transparency. We have had patrol unit mounted cameras for quite some time, but body-worn cameras will provide an additional perspective- going exactly where the officer goes. These devices will improve community relations, lower the number of citizen complaints, defend officers against false accusations, increase agency accountability, and improve officer training and evaluations,” stated Police Chief James Hambrick. “I’m grateful for the support from our elected officials on this important project and all the research from City Hall’s Information Technology staff, including our staff, in selecting the best system for our department.”
Four officers and patrol units will initially be equipped with the new system, and the department plans to have all officers and patrol units equipped by March of 2019 if the system performs correctly. The department selected the cameras after the city commission approved funding back in July 2018 for the department’s current fiscal year budget. The five-year contract for the system totals $540,600.