Mt. Juliet Police to begin use of body camera technology.
Four Mt. Juliet Police officers and patrol units will initially be equipped with the new system, which could be issued in the next two weeks. Reports say all officers will be equipped with the technology by March if the system works correctly.
The agreement also will provide new cameras for patrol cars replacing existing police vehicle cameras and creation of a digital evidence management system, the announcement states.
The Tennessean reports: “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,” said police chief James Hambrick.
Interestingly, the body-worn cameras sport some really cutting edge technology including streaming live video to supervisors, remote activation based on the device’s location to an active incident, detecting, activating, and sending alerts when the officer is in a physical struggle, running, when a firearm is discharged and is capable of receiving alerts from dispatch.
Body Cameras For Police Protect Citizens’ Rights
Although not listed by Chief Hambrick, the devices will record evidence in criminal prosecutions that can aid citizens who are accused. Cameras record both incriminating and exculpatory evidence when made equally available to citizens and the government alike.
A little known fact is that rural departments many times lead police agencies in technology. Metro police seldom even have in car recording systems, common in small departments such as Watertown and Mt. Juliet City Police and rural counties such as Smith, Macon and Trousdale County.
Some Law Enforcement Agencies Don’t Want Transparency
Metropolitan Nashville simply found they lost more cases when they had video recording of events and arrests. Mt. Juliet should be applauded for the advancement in technology. I have ask many juries, when police in-car video was not available, “how many twelve year olds did they know who could not record any event they wanted to”? I understand it is more complicated with police agencies, but when technology is available to remove questions and doubt it’s use should be applauded. Good job, MJPD. I look forward to getting more complete information pertaining to protecting my clients, clearer evidence and accountability for all.
In defense of the citizen accused,