Rockwood Police now wear body cameras at all times while on duty
The Rockwood Police Chief says the unrest in Ferguson has prompted the department to purchase body cameras for its officers.
All 14 patrol officers are now wearing the body cameras at all times while on duty.
Rockwood Police Officer Blake Norman says he’s happy to have a body camera as part of his uniform.
“I like it. It’s good for us because people get to actually see firsthand what we do and what we go through,” he said.
Norman says when people know they’re being recorded, tense situations tend to ease up.
“They calm down a lot whatever they’re doing,” he said.
Police Chief Danny Wright says each camera cost about $300. He says budgets are tight in small departments, but it’s money well spent.
“It better documents what actually happens at the scene of any call we answer,” Wright said.
He says the cameras offer better protection for the officers, as well as the public.
“Eyewitness testimony for anyone who has any experience in law enforcement is not the most reliable, we would prefer to have an independent, impartial, third party, which the body camera is,” Wright said.
Ronnie Dyer lives in Rockwood and says the cameras are a good idea.
“It would be well money spent toward a good investment that’s going to protect you and your safety,” he said.
Wright says the body cameras will not be on at all times so they can save on battery life and storage space. They will be on for all calls that officers respond to, including domestic calls inside someone’s home.
The footage from the cameras will be kept in an evidence room. Along with video, the cameras are able to take still pictures if needed.