City orders two bodycams for KPD to evaluate

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Bodycams are coming to Knoxville Police Department – two, to be exact, for testing purposes and to evaluate costs.

City Council members requested the body-worn cameras and the issue is set to be discussed in a resolution during next week’s council meeting.

City and police officials said Friday they had ordered two body-worn cameras last week for KPD to begin evaluating for officer use in a push for enhanced technology.

“Over the last year, we have been evaluating new technology for our officers. We have now transitioned to new laptops with FirstNet capability that increase our ability to upload large amounts of data directly with priority. We have been evaluating advanced in-car dash cameras in two patrol vehicles and last week ordered two body-worn cameras to begin their evaluation along with the in-car cameras. We look forward to sharing with City Council the results of that evaluation and the costs associated with the technology.”

statement from Mayor Madline Rogero & KPD Chief Eve Thomas

The city council meeting agenda packet for next week has a resolution for the police department to “explore the cost of acquiring and maintaining body worn cameras to be used by those members of the police department who respond to E-911 calls and investigate alleged crimes.”

The discussion for bodycams became front-and-center for city officials following a deadly Aug. 26 KPD officer-involved shooting that the following day resulted in a protest and community march to a city council meeting at which marchers said they wanted police to wear the cameras for better transparency.

WATE 6 On Your Side is following this story and will update as additional details and statements are made available by officials.

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