Dickson Lieutenant Talks About Use, Importance Of Police Body Cameras

Posted at 6:24 PM, Jul 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-30 19:39:13-04

DICKSON, Tenn. - It's a new day in the world, including in the city of Dickson, and its police department has known that, according to Lt. Todd Christian.

"This camera here is roughly about $250, and I think it’s going to save thousands in lawsuits," he said.

It's a body camera, and Lt. Christian said every officer in the department has to wear one.

"To turn it on all I have to do is simply push it down," he said. "The camera will vibrate to indicate to the officer that it is working."

Thanks to a grant they were ordered at the beginning of the year, and they've already put them to use.

"We do it on all personal contact with the citizens," said Lt. Christian. "Any call that we go on and any traffic stop we are on they're required to be on."

When officers have finished their shifts, Lt Christian said they don't have access to open or view any of the video files on their body cams.

"Our supervisors will download their cameras, and they just at random will pick whatever scene or video they want to look at to make sure the officer is doing what he's supposed to be doing,” Lt. Christian said.

With several recent officer involved shootings, Lt. Christian said it's important to have a clear picture of what happened on the scene.

"It gives an officer the confidence to know that what we're filming is authentic, and it’s the original," he said.

And it gives the public the opportunity to see for themselves who’s telling the truth.

"Now no more of this he said, she said issues," said Lt. Christian. "You can see it for what it is."

In addition to their body cams, it's also policy for their patrol cars to have cameras. All the video recorded on the cams will be kept for at least two years.