Roll-out of MPD body cameras delayed - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Roll-out of MPD body cameras delayed

MPD's body cameras, which are similar to those used by LAPD, are delayed rolling out. (Source: WMC Action News 5) MPD's body cameras, which are similar to those used by LAPD, are delayed rolling out. (Source: WMC Action News 5)

The body cameras Memphis Police Department planned to roll out on Tuesday are still not in service.

MPD cites issues with the contract beyond its control as the reason the cameras are not yet being used.

"Once all issues have been resolved, notification will be given when our department begins utilizing this technology," MPD Sergeant Alyssa Macon-Moore said.

The city has been beta testing the cameras for several months.

Wednesday, August 26, more than 2,100 body cameras were supposed to be delivered, along with 900 in-vehicle video cameras and 900 automated GPS vehicle locators.

“It's important so that people can see what officers deal with on a day to day basis," Memphis Police Association Vice President Essica Littlejohn said.

Littlejohn said body cameras and dash cameras for police will not only protect officers but also citizens.

“I want people to know that the officers of the police department have nothing to hide. I think the citizens may not be ready for what these cameras are going to show," Littlejohn said.

Littlejohn said there are other things that are up for discussion as well, like when the cameras need to be turned off.

“We just want to make sure the officers are protected with a good solid policy," Littlejohn said.

“People are being unfair with them. They have a hard job and a hard task we need to just agree with the officer and submit to their authority," Daniel Ranken said.

Many residents said after cases like the death of Darrius Stewart they are worried that police will hesitate, something Littlejohn said is true.

“A worst case scenario that could cost an officer his life is hesitation and worrying what people will say or how they view it," Littlejohn said.

Citizens Law Enforcement Review Board Chairman Reverend Ralph White believes that when the cameras finally do roll out, it will help the review board make sound decisions. He also expects it to relieve community tensions and help law enforcement officers.

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