Mayor: Cameras coming to MPD squad cars

Mayor: Cameras coming to MPD squad cars
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file)

(WMC) - Memphis Police Department is moving toward having dashboard cameras in all patrol vehicles.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton made the announcement on Friday. While there is no official timetable for the roll out, at some point, all police on patrol business will be caught on camera.

"That's for officer protection, and it also gives a measure of accountability," Mayor Wharton said.

Wharton says the city will soon contract with a company to facilitate in product purchase and financing. Installation and deployment will follow.

Memphis City Councilman Harold Collins says his colleagues on the city council have supported the idea for years.

"At least we're getting the discussion now," he said.

Long ago, funds generated from red light cameras were authorized to pay for squad car dash cams.

"This council has been a proponent of making sure we have transparency. I hate the fact that we have to wait six years later now that everybody seems to think cameras are important in police cars," Collins added.

Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams says the cameras shouldn't bother anyone who is doing what they're supposed to.

"If you're a stand-up officer, you're doing what you're supposed to, you know, I'm not afraid of dash cams. I'm not. Like I say, it can help," Williams said.

The cameras could help clear complaints, solve cases, prosecute them or otherwise.

"Bottom line is it will be done. We want to make sure we make it in the most effective and cost-efficient way," Wharton said.

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