NOLENSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nolensville Police officers hit the streets today with brand new, state of the art body cameras.
Officials tell News 2 the idea is to keep the department’s actions transparent while maintaining accountability to citizens.
All 13 officers, 10 patrol officers, and 3 detectives will be wearing the body cams.
Assistant Chief Michael Terns says, “We are doing what we say we are doing.”
Terns says when he was a patrol deputy with the sheriff’s department, he made a traffic stop in which the young man driving claimed Terns had roughed him up and broken his collar bone. Terns said the video proved he never touched the driver and exonerated him.
Terns says the cameras keep both police and the public honest, showing events as they unfolded.
“So what the body cams do is videotape the officers on their daily routines. For us, we have a video showing what we did on the street. If anyone wants to come and watch it is here for them. It protects us and protects the town of Nolensville, the citizens of Nolensville against any false allegations against us.”
According to Terns, the department will upgrade the entire system by December.
When that happens the body cams will no longer require officers to manually turn them on, which can be overlooked in times of stress.
“Correct. Right now it requires the officer to operate it manually, but with the full upgrade for the system, an officer opens the door it turns on. When the officer activates the blue lights it turns on.
When the officer pulls his rifle from the rack it turns on. So in these heat of the moment incidents, it is turning on for them. They don’t have to think about it so when they hop out of the car it’s ready to go and documenting everything they are doing.”
Patrol officer Jaquelin Saunders has been with the force a little more than a year. She says the camera is a welcome tool in the officer’s tool belt.
“It allows the public to see what we see. And it protects me as an officer. And for court cases, it is great to be able to go back and review the footage.”
The system cost taxpayers $25,000.
According to the assistant chief, the video is tamper-proof and available almost immediately to officers and command staff because it uploads to the cloud from anywhere at the conclusion of the call.
By comparison, MNPD has 147 officers utilizing body cams.
According to Metro Police spokesman Don Aaron, “The MNPD Traffic Unit and the West Precinct have been outfitted with in-car and body cameras. We began deploying them to the East Precinct and the Juvenile Crime Task Force this week. We anticipate the North & Madison Precincts to come next.”