The City of Vicksburg’s Police officers will soon be equipped with a third eye during traffic stops, arrests and other calls for service. The department now has body cameras that will record up to 16 hours of video and audio.
“So many times, we see people use their cell phones to record a snippet of what took place. These body cameras are going to capture everything from the start to the finish,” said Police Chief Walter Armstrong.
The cameras were paid for with drug forfeiture funds. Chief Armstrong said no reports of misconduct or police complaints led to the investment. It's all about providing more accountability and transparency for law enforcement and citizens.
“We will increase public assurance that we are there to serve them," added Armstrong. "Reduce the fear of crime in the community and reduce assaults on law enforcement officers.”
The chief said the video from the cameras should also help speed court proceedings.
“By providing indisputable proof of the situation, which could increase early guilty pleas,” said Chief Armstrong.
Many residents said after the rash of police violence across the United States over past few years, they believe the devices could be an extra layers of protection for them.
“I think it is nice to have it because they can see what is going on and can't nobody lie about it,” said a Vicksburg Resident.
“You need to have it videotaped to verify what happened, what went on, who did what and things of that nature,” said another resident.
Chief Armstrong said the more than five dozen body cameras will be phased in as officers are trained over the next few weeks.
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