A handful of Metro Nashville police officers were been equipped with body cameras on Monday as part of a trial to allow Metro Nashville Police to see what they wanted in a body camera that will be distributed to all 1,440 officers.
The trial started with just five officers with the plan to distribute a total of 20 cameras to officers to use.
“Everyone uses video nowadays, and this is our video for the police department," Samuel Johnson, one of the five officers kicking off the trial, said. "We walk around, we can pick up different scenarios on the roadway marks, wherever it may be, talk to witnesses and have that, because sometimes the memory kind of fades or whatever, but the camera is going to have everything captured for us, so if we need to go back and review, we can use this as a good device to help us – another tool, I guess you could say, in your toolbox.”
Nashville Mayor Megan Barry mentioned the police body cameras in her State of Metro speech earlier in the year, and the police department put forward a plan to get the cameras implemented.
The hope is that after the department figures out the features they want in the cameras, they can put together a list and start shopping around for a specific brand and camera they want to use.
Johnson said he's a big fan of the cameras, knowing they can assist in investigations, as well as protect both police officers and citizens from any erroneous claims.
“If you don’t do anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about. It keeps police honest, it keeps civilians honest, and it’s a good tool to have," Johnson explained.
It's unclear how long the trial will last, but police said they were hoping to get the information they need to order cameras for the entire force in the coming months.