MOUNT JULIET, TN (WSMV) - For the first time ever Mount Juliet police will have body cameras.
Roughly 35,000 people live in Mount Juliet. Police said the cameras will help them better protect and serve the public.
The cameras are basically a smartphone, and the officers slide them into a holster inside their uniforms.
What’s remarkable about these cameras is what they can do “without” the push of a button.
“They’re more advanced than a simple camera attached to a police officer,” said Mount Juliet Police Capt. Tyler Chandler. “It turns on on its own. It requires the officer to rarely have to activate it himself.”
Chandler said the cameras are equipped with different sensors.
“It keeps track of the officer’s location. It knows when he’s running. It knows if his firearm has been used and it knows if he’s down,” said Chandler.
The cameras can also alert dispatch, where the officer and the camera can be monitored 24/7.
“(Dispatch) can either jump in live to see what’s happening off the officer’s camera, or definitely dispatch other units to help him with whatever the situation may be,” said Chandler. “If they’re in a pursuit, we can view that pursuit live. Supervisors or our dispatchers can watch it and deploy resources to him.”
The devices also have a “Be on the Lookout” option to assist in Amber and Silver Alerts.
“We can quickly send out photos of the missing, photos of the wanted, to all the devices in the field,” said Chandler. “They can get it in real time, this is who we are looking for, this is a picture of them.”
Ultimately, the cameras will be used to help with investigations.
“It helps keep everyone accountable on both sides. It helps our officers stay accountable to themselves and the community,” said Chandler. “It also keeps community members accountable with any allegations they want to say about our police officers.”
The department has 95 body cameras. There are 59 full-time police officers with another 30 reserve/part-time/volunteer officers. Training for using the cameras is taking place all week.
Chandler said it’s going to take some adjustments and there will be a learning curve for the officers, but the end goal is keeping the public safe.