Mayor Briley announced Tuesday that the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department will begin a 90-day trial period to determine the best body and dash cameras for the department to use moving forward. Twenty-one officers will be equipped with the cameras.
In Nashville today, ensuring that all residents feel safe and protected requires a 21st century policing approach. This week, we began a 90-day trial period to identify the best police body and dash camera technology for our city — with 21 @MNPDNashville officers wearing cameras.— Mayor David Briley (@MayorBriley) December 11, 2018
Briley described the cameras as a necessary component for a "21st century policing approach." The trial will run through March 2019.
This comes over a year after the city approved $15 million to launch the body camera program. Chief Steve Anderson told News4 in August that he hopes the cameras will be fully operational in the spring.
Following the shooting death of Daniel Hambrick, the push for Metro Police to wear body cameras gained new momentum. Officer Andrew Delke, the officer who killed Hambrick, was not wearing a body camera.
Council Member Sheri Weiner, then the Acting Vice Mayor, was an outspoken critic of Anderson after Hambrick's death, even calling for Anderson to resign. In a statement, she highlighted the fact that MNPD was provided funds for body cameras over a year before Hambrick's death.
“The Council allocated money more than a year ago for body cameras for MNPD Officers to provide clarity to our citizens and protections to our police officers and it’s well beyond time those funds be used to purchase the camera units, and associated equipment and implement the program,” Weiner said.
This is not the first time that Metro officers participated in a similar trial. In October 2017, 20 Metro officers wore body cameras from four different manufacturers in an effort to determine "which equipment is best suited for the men and women of the MNPD." No official decision was made as to which manufacturer would be used.