KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Another step has been taken toward outfitting Knoxville police officers with body worn cameras and upgrading the department’s in-car camera system, as the Knoxville Police Department received its first shipment of Axon Body 3 and Axon Fleet 3 cameras.
KPD also says it has begun body-cam admin training as well as “Train the Trainer” sessions with Axon Enterprise Inc.
The police department says it will deploy 50 body worn cameras and upgraded in-car systems at a forthcoming date to work through any issues that come up. The remaining body-worn cameras and in-car systems will then be installed and deployed in the field.
WATE 6 On Your Side reporter Elizabeth Kuebel heard from the city’s Police Advisory and Review Committee (PARC) and a community member who’s been pushing for the change.
“The community has been hungry for this and desirous of this, and so it’s felt like a really long process. So I’m really excited that we’re at this next step and preparing to roll this out,” LaKenya Middlebrook, executive director of PARC, said.
“It’s definitely exciting. I want to say that this has been something that I personally have been fighting for for the past 4 years,” Denzel Grant said. “This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to getting rid of some of that mistrust that we have between our law enforcement here and our community.”
Grant says he thinks the move will benefit both the community and law enforcement. PARC’s leader is hopeful for the same.
“I am hopeful that this tool will help us as we continue to grow and build and re-imagine public safety in our community,” Middlebrook said.
“You do have certain situations that always don’t turn out to be what they are, and so having bodycams, like I said, it doesn’t only benefit us, but it also makes law enforcement’s job a little bit easier, so I think it’s a win on both sides for now,” Grant said.
Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon had positive things to say Monday about the cameras:
“We are one step closer to seeing body-worn cameras on Knoxville streets tonight. I am pleased the first shipment has arrived and that our KPD officers have already started training with these new tools. We know this will not be a panacea, but bodycams will help provide more transparency and accountability for our officers and those they encounter on a daily basis.”Mayor Indya Kincannon
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