Pigeon Forge police officers to wear body cameras

Pigeon Forge police officers to wear body cameras

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Officers will wear the cameras on their uniform while out on patrol. Officers will wear the cameras on their uniform while out on patrol.

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

PIGEON FORGE (WATE) – The Pigeon Forge Police Department was given the green light Monday for body cameras.

Officers will wear the cameras on their uniform while out on patrol. The devices captures both audio and video, just like a dashcam in a police cruiser.

If there are ever any questions about what happened when an officer walked up to a scene, the cameras would tell the story.

The intent is to provide eight new cameras to officers patrolling on motorcycles.

Pigeon Forge Police Chief Jack Baldwin says that with heavy summer traffic on the parkway, cops in cars aren't as realistic as cops on motorcycles.

"The motorcycles are beneficial to us because of the amount of traffic motorcycles can get through where a car can't," Chief Baldwin explained.

Motorcycles don't come equipped with surveillance devices, and that's where the department would like to see the body cams being used.

"From start to finish of the investigation, it's our evidence. It's also protection for us," explained Cpl. James Bergado.

City leaders approved funding for the eight new cameras, each one costing a little more than $900.

"We think this is $7,000 is well spent, and what it does is key for safety and liability," said Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear.

The Pigeon Forge Police Department is one of the few departments in the state to be implementing body cams.

Officers on the street say they will be crime fighting with a little more confidence.

"If we're walking to get something to eat and something happens, just turn on the camera and it's capturing," Cpl. Bergado said.

PFPD plans to have the cameras soon, with hopes to be using them well before summer.

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