Body cameras are a part of the D'Iberville police uniform - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Body cameras are a part of the D'Iberville police uniform

All D'Iberville officers on patrol are now required to wear body cameras. (Photo source: WLOX) All D'Iberville officers on patrol are now required to wear body cameras. (Photo source: WLOX)
Officers can watch how they responded on their cell phones, and Chief Wayne Payne can also take a look at the video on the computer. (Photo source: WLOX) Officers can watch how they responded on their cell phones, and Chief Wayne Payne can also take a look at the video on the computer. (Photo source: WLOX)
D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Were his hands up? Did it look like he was a threat to the officer? These are questions that have gripped the country causing debate and protests after an African American teen was shot and killed in Ferguson, MO, by a white police officer.

Since the incident, there has been a big push for officers to wear body cameras, and one South Mississippi department now has them as part of the uniform. All D'Iberville officers on patrol are now required to wear body cameras.

"If we go to some kind of heated call," Cpl. Ken Moran said, "all officers as a team can go back and retrieve the video footage and be able to critique what we could have done better, possibly."

Moran has been wearing a body camera for about a year and a half, although he said the cameras were not very reliable until recently when the department upgraded.

"It has like 15 hours of battery life on it," Moran said. "Also recording, it has endless amounts of footage, and it doesn't get full. At the end of the shift, it's easy. We can just dock it on the stations."

Officers can watch how they responded on their cell phones, and Chief Wayne Payne can also take a look at the video on the computer.

"Studies have shown all over the country that it has reduced citizen's complaints. It's reduced use of force issues, and once again, we are very excited," Payne said. "We want to serve our citizens with honor, integrity."

Most D'Iberville patrol cars are equipped with cameras too, so nearly everything a police officer does can be filmed with just a few clicks.

"If I have someone in custody, I can keep eyes on them while I'm en route to the station or the county jail," Moran said.

All the video footage also allows a judge or a jury to decide what happened for themselves instead of having to rely solely on testimony.

"It's going to make this department as a whole a lot better, and most of all it's going to allow us to serve the community of D'Iberville with integrity," Moran said.

The cameras cost about $400 a piece.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.



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