Clarksdale police implement head-mounted cameras - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Clarksdale police implement head-mounted cameras

Officers say head-mounted cameras give a better view than chest cameras. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) Officers say head-mounted cameras give a better view than chest cameras. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
CLARKSDALE, MS (WMC) -

If you interact with police in Clarksdale, Mississippi, smile, you're on camera.

Assistant Chief Robbie Linley says the department just purchased more than 20 new head mounted cameras.

The high tech gadgets will act as an extra set of eyes and ears for the officer's protection. It will also hold law enforcement accountable for their actions with citizens.

“It's going to help us with the complaints that come in – it's either going to help us prove or disprove the complaint,” Linley said.

After high-profile, officer-involved shootings in Ferguson, Missouri and Florida, Linley said it's important to make sure officers have a solid case if any of their actions come into question.

Linley said the department opted for head mounted cameras instead of body cameras on the chest because it gives a more complete view.

“On what of my test videos, my officer was sitting in the car someone walked up to the side of him and I could hear the conversation between the two, but all I saw on the video was the steering wheel,” Linley said.

Without a head mount, an officer would have to turn his or her entire body to make sure the chest camera is facing the direction that the officer is looking.

He said chest cameras also can block the lens from getting a clear view at what is in front of the officer, especially if they have to draw their weapon.

“When you have a chest mounted camera, the camera is directly behind my hands, so you see more of my hands than what you do that's beyond my weapon,” Linley said.

Police say the cameras cost about $600 each. Patrolmen are already using the devices in the field.

Copyright 2015 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly