MPD will start training/implementing body cams, dash cams, GPS

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. --  At a news conference on Wednesday, Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong announced the Memphis Police Department had finally received and started the process of implementing body cameras and in-car cameras.

According to Armstrong, the department received 500 new body cameras for its police officers, and now the department is training 50 officers a day on how and when to use the technology.

Armstrong said if all goes as planned, 2,000 officers will wear body cameras on the streets by the end of the year.

In addition, Armstrong said dash cameras and GPS systems have already been installed in five squad cars, and starting October 1, the devices will be installed in four cars a day.

While on a slower timetable than the other cameras, the department said it expected to have 400 vehicles equipped with dash cams by January 2016, and over the next five years, 500 more will get them.

The dash cams will be activated, along with the body cameras, automatically when the blue lights are turned on, when the patrol rifle or shotgun is removed, when the car reaches a speed of 75 miles per hour or when involved in a crash.

The system can also be activated manually.

During the news conference, Director Armstrong pointed out that the policies surrounding the use of cameras are still a work in progress.

As of right now, policy and procedures state officers will have to activate their body cameras anytime they are called to a scene, and anytime they come into contact with a citizen in addition to the instances listed above.

They will have to let you know they are recording, and the officer cannot alter or delete any video.

Depending on the situation, the officer will either give the footage to the supervisor on the scene or turn it in at the end of the day.

Armstrong said the case will determine whether the public can see the video.

Each officer will have their own camera, and it is their responsibility to make sure the unit isn't damaged, has enough power to last the entire shift and all of the previous day's recordings are taken off the device.

Memphis Police Camera Policies



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