CHARLESTON, SC –The initiative that began two years ago by the Charleston Police Department to equip patrol officers with body cameras has come to fruition with the initial purchase of 140. The department has applied for a grant to purchase an additional 150 body cameras, which will provide each patrol officer with a body camera.
“We started looking at body cameras two years ago because we knew it would become the wave of the future,” said Police Chief Greg Mullen. “We realized that officers around the country would be issued body cameras just as they are issued a firearm.”
The 140 VIEVU LE3 body cameras cost 769.00 each.
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The department initially issued forty-two of the body cameras last week to test the equipment, training, and policy which have been presented to the small group of officers. This initial deployment will allow us to make any technical and procedural modifications before a larger deployment occurs. The cameras are being used in the Central Business District, Daniel Island and by traffic officers.
“We want to see how a small number of the cameras worked before issuing them all,” Mullen said. “The rest of the cameras should be in use by the end of June.”
The department was very deliberate in the selection of body cameras and looked at all the challenges and benefits they provide as the technology is introduced.
The department has created a policy regarding body cameras which has been vetted and provided to local organizations and media outlets.
The officers have received policy training and instruction while learning how to properly use the cameras and software.
The department realizes body cameras won’t be the “end all, be all,” however; the benefits far outweigh the challenges. Body cameras can make a positive impact on officers’ relationship with the public