Jackson Police equipping all officers with body cameras

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JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – The city of Jackson has decided to equip all of its police officers with body cameras.

 6 News spoke with the city’s police chief Wednesday about what this means for the city.

Last month, a robbery suspect was killed by police gunfire in Blackman Township.

 

Three of the five officers involved from Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Blackman-Leoni Public Safety had body cameras rolling.

 

But two officers from the city of Jackson did not.

 

“No doubt that incident kind of re-emphasized to me the need for them and the value of them,” said Chief Elmer Hitt.

 

Chief Hitt says the city already had a plan to buy body cameras before that shooting took place.

 

But in its wake, last night the city council took the final step by approving a $127,000 body camera system for the police department.

 

“It gets us the initial 42 body cameras,” Chief Hitt said.

“This will give us the ability to equip each of our officers with a body camera as well as the patrol supervisors.”

 

Back in September, Chief Hitt said they applied for a federal grant to buy body cams.

 

But he now says that grant program is delayed for law enforcement agencies across the country, and the city wants to get take advantage of the price they already locked in with the supplier.

 

“If and when we are awarded that grant we’ll have to have some discussions about what we can use that for. If we can still use it for the body cams,” Chief Hitt said.

 

He’s looking forward to the transparency body cams offer police and the people they protect.

 

“I think it will aid us in many ways,” Chief Hitt said.

 

If all goes as planned, officers will hit the streets armed with this new technology in the next two months.

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