Memphis law enforcement officers to get body cameras in early Se - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis law enforcement officers to get body cameras in early Sept.

Memphis law enforcement officers will soon get body cameras. (Source: WMC Action News 5) Memphis law enforcement officers will soon get body cameras. (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

In the wake of police shootings that happened around the nation, including in Memphis, more people are calling for officers to wear body cameras.

Memphis city leaders say body and vehicle cameras will soon be in place to protect both citizens and police officers.

April Benton, a mother of three boys, feels strongly that police officers should wear body cameras. 

"It's a definite must. It would be beneficial for police officers and us," she said.

"The money is already there," said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.

The cost is $24 million, which is already approved by Memphis City Council. It's a cost that taxpayers are not flinching at.

"I think it's well worth it," said Henry Severo, who lives in Memphis.

WMC Action News 5's Kontji Anthony obtained a letter announcing which companies would get the contract. The letter was signed on July 7, 10 days before the death of Darrius Stewart, who was unarmed and killed by a Memphis police officer.

"It is very timely," Wharton added.

After years of research and a month-long beta test by 20 officers, the mayor feels confident about the cameras.

Taser, a company that creates public safety technology, was chosen to provide 2,150 body cameras.

Insight Public Sector, Inc. will supply 900 in-car video cameras and 900 GPS automatic vehicle locators. 

Before the mayor signs on the dotted line, he has one condition for the contractors.

"We wanted to make sure we got 10 percent minority participation, which we were able to achieve."

Wharton is expected to sign the deal early next month.

"The police officers need some accountability, as well as their own peace of mind when they're doing things right," Severo added.

"We can witness everything and we won't have to worry about witnesses who didn't really see it. It would be hardcore evidence," said Memphis resident Teshia Parker.

The mayor does caution that cameras cannot solve everything.

"We're not going to hold them out to do that because some things will not occur in sight of the camera," he said.

The body cameras are scheduled to roll out around Sept. 1.

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