Jackson Police Department rolls out new body cameras

Updated: Jun. 25, 2019 at 7:52 AM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Jackson Police Department, hoping to become more transparent with residents, rolled out new body cameras Tuesday.

Jackson police held a press conference around 4 p.m. where the department made the announcement.

“No longer will a person be able to claim that a police officer punched or kicked him or her with out cause,” said officer Sam Brown.

The cameras will record panoramic video and audio; the footage will be stored in a cloud for a certain amount of time.

Brown said officers will start training Thursday and learn how to manually handle the camera.

Last year, the city council approved a $600,000 grant for body cameras for officers. The department later started testing cameras but that was only a 30-day trial.

At the time, police Chief James Davis welcomed the cameras saying they will make the officers more transparent. Some people in the community feel Jackson police needs cameras, because of alleged police brutality. These cameras can also exonerate officers, if they are accused of wrongdoing.

When it comes to body cameras, it raises other questions about privacy, the department's policy as far as when or if the officers will be able to turn them on and off.

“During the training, the officers are going to be trained to activate the body one camera after they receive a call. If they’re in their patrol car, we would like for them to activate that camera while en route to that call. So that way, nothing will be missed from that time an officer arrives at the scene until they finish,” Brown said.

“The police officers have the body one cameras but recording devices have been around for years," he explained. “The public has been filming everything from cell phones for years. But with a cell phone, you only get one side of the story.”

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