body cameras | Nashville Public Radio

body cameras

body cameras
Flickr / West Midlands Police

The cost of equipping Nashville police officers with body cameras continues to rise as officials calculate additional behind-the-scenes expenses.

body cameras
Flickr / West Midlands Police

A small group of Nashville police officers began testing body cameras this week. That’s a milestone, but it follows several delays that have bothered reform advocates.

It was quite a sprint — and Metro has now concluded its budget hearings, which will inform the budget that's due soon from Mayor David Briley.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

Cell phone footage shot by bystanders showing sometimes violent police interactions with civilians has led to more discussions nationwide about whether officers should wear body cameras. In some cities, local law enforcement has resisted that idea.

But that’s not the case in Clarksville, where the police department has actually been one of its biggest supporters.

Courtesy of MNPD

Nashville police are beginning field tests with body-worn cameras. It's a significant step in the city's push for more police transparency and better community relations.

The 20 officers who volunteered for the trial will record their daily police activity, including traffic stops, arrests, searches and interviews with witnesses and suspects. Police say the officers will deactivate the cameras if privacy is needed. The department says they're testing out four different manufacturers and the feedback will be used when determining what equipment to ultimately purchase. 

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

The Department of Justice is recommending that Nashville conduct a thorough study of its policing culture. The direction comes after a white Metro police officer fatally shot a black man earlier this year.

It’s going to cost significantly more than expected to outfit the Metro Police Department with body cameras. But Chief Steve Anderson says the hefty price tag is the cost of transparency.

Anderson says it’s the most expensive request he’s ever made: $50 million to deploy body cameras to the force’s 1400 officers and their vehicles. And the hardware is just a fraction of that. There’s storage, software, infrastructure, a back-up system. He’s requesting money to hire another two dozen officers just to handle the deluge of footage.

Nashville police protective vest
File photo / WPLN

Nashville’s council members are again taking a close look at Metro Police this week. This time, the council is considering whether to move faster on securing body cameras for officers.

Steve Anderson Megan Barry
Metro Nashville Police Department

Last week’s fatal shooting by a Nashville police officer has reignited interest in equipping officers with body cameras. Mayor Megan Barry says she intends to fund the technology, but her administration is still mulling how exactly the cameras would be used.

Emily Siner / WPLN

A mayoral forum at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Antioch last night started out with some pretty hefty topics on race.