Officers 'love' body cameras despite daily hiccups - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Officers 'love' body cameras despite daily hiccups

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Over 1,000 Memphis police officers and every precinct in the city now utilizes body cameras.  

The only units to not have the body cameras at this time are Special Ops and Organized Crime. Their body cameras are expected to be deployed within the next few weeks.

"They tell me simple. They say 'love 'em,'" Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings said.

It's not been quite a year since Rallings compared the body camera rollout to going to the moon. The department has now reached their moon with the body cameras and he said he is pleased with how far the department has come and how the officers are embracing the cameras.

However, he said the cameras are not a fix-all for problems and he does not want the community thinking that way.

"It's not a perfect technology, because it does not capture everything," Rallings said. "It's not different than the cameras before me...there's no 360-degree view."

MPD and District Attorney General's Office now have to use tens of thousands of hours of video.

"Oh, there's been lots of hiccups. Yes, there are daily hiccups," Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich said.

But, one after another Weirich and her team have worked through all the hiccups. 

Shelby County Commission helped them increase broadband speed to download videos faster. They helped fund a few video analysts who process and review the videos for cases.

MPD helped out by loaning a few of its own video analysts, and more will be hired soon, though not nearly as many as Weirich needs.

"It is very costly and it will continue to be costly," Weirich said. "It will continue to be an expense that we all have to build in and deal with."

Even though she said handling all the video footage makes the job harder and more expensive, she said body cameras are already accomplishing what they were meant to.

"A prosecutor just last week showed video footage to a defense attorney and that quickly resolved the case. The defendant pled guilty, the case was closed and we moved on to the next matter," Weirich said.

It is those results she said makes all the hiccups worth it.

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