Mississippi law enforcement agencies are weighing options on bod - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi law enforcement agencies are weighing options on body cams

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Walk through a crime scene from a cop's perspective. Police body cameras make that possible. President Obama is proposing a 50-percent match for 50,000 cameras across the country.

A few agencies in Mississippi already have them. It's an idea Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey isn't knocking.

"I think it's a great transparency for law enforcement agencies to the public," explained Bailey.

But it seems more like a dream than a reality for his department. Bailey isn't jumping in on the trend till he knows the money would be there to maintain it.

"Video eats up huge amounts of storage," the Sheriff explained. "This stuff has got to be stored and kept up with and logged. We struggle right now just to keep up with our in car video."

Hinds County has already started shopping and they'll soon become part of the usual gear.

"Initially, we'll just have a few officer who demo them," described Chief Deputy Chris Picou. "The companies aren't going to want to give us hundreds of cameras. But we're going to demo to see which one best fits Hinds County."

Picou explained they've already started crafting the policies and procedures.

"Having the body cameras of course will allow officers to capture their evidence that they need," said Picou. "It will protect the officer. It will also protect the public."

Body cam legislation has been introduced at the State Capitol for the past three years. But it's never made it out of Andy Gipson's House Judiciary B committee.

"Would mandate body cameras and impose penalties for departments that didn't use them and on officers who didn't wear it," Gipson explained about the previous legislation. "I just feel that's too far. That's too much government."

Gipson thinks anything the legislature does related to police body cams will likely depend on the requests by law enforcement.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Bryan Bailey says if cameras were funded, he'd be willing to spend the money on them. It's not the initial costs that concern him but the maintenance.

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