Mt. Pleasant police cameras decrease officer complaint cases - WKRN News 2

Mt. Pleasant police cameras decrease officer complaint cases

Posted: Updated: Aug 3, 2013 12:49 AM
Captain Paul Westmoreland Captain Paul Westmoreland
MT. PLEASANT, Tenn. -

Since Mt. Pleasant police began using body cameras last year, the number of officer complaints and frivolous lawsuits has dropped dramatically.

Authorities told Nashville's News 2 Investigates the cameras not only protect officers and citizens, but also allow judges and juries to see exactly what cops encounter on every call.

Captain Paul Westmoreland said they have a policy in place requiring officers to turn the cameras on when respond to an incidnet.

"If you have a bad officer, this is the quickest way to find him," Westmoreland stated.

He explained that when people interact with an officer, or vice verse, they know they are being vieotaped.

"When it goes to court now, the judge and jury can see exactly what happened because the video doesn't lie," Westmoreland added. "We don't get complaints anymore, or we don't get unfounded complaints, let me put it that way."

Prior to all 14 cops wearing the small cameras, Westmoreland spent much of his time investigating frivolous complaints against his officers.

"In the past before the cameras, we were responding to complaints on officers two to three times a week sometimes," he said, adding, "Basically it was their word against the officer's word."

Now, complaints have gone down as much as 80% and investigation into past cases has found that many were unfounded.

Westmoreland said the body cameras cost less than $100.

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