Cocke County deputies get upgraded body cameras

NEWPORT (WATE) – Deputies with the Cocke County Sheriff’s Department are now armed with upgraded body cams. The new ones have better visuals, can record for a longer period of time and, according to officials, are already making a difference.

The cameras were expensive, but deputies say they make things a whole lot easier when it comes to investigations. The department has been actually wearing them for two and a half years now so body cams are nothing new. It was just time for an upgrade.

Chief Deputy John Carrell says the 38 new cameras cost $150 each.

“We upgraded from the original body cameras to what per se could be called a second generation. Some of these have been bought through grant money. Some of these have been purchased through drug fund money and some of them have been allocated through our budget,” said Carrell.

The new technology helps with accountability.vlcsnap-2015-06-02-22h47m55s249

“I’ve learned in my career that there are always two sides to every story and most times, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. The body camera is actually the middle man. It’s the impartial witness that we desire and we need,” said Carrell.

The old cameras could only record four to six hours, but these new cameras can actually record up to 12 hours and it also has a higher pixel size.

“All of the road officers have them as well as some of the officers in the jail,” said Carrell.

Carrell says body cameras have been a success in capturing the public’s actions and even officers’.

“It has gone both ways for us. We have disciplined a few officers for their actions, but more times than not we have individuals that come in, the footage reveals the officers correction was correct,” said Carrell.

The Cocke County Sheriff’s Department is still working on its privacy policy for recording incidents when officers have to enter a person’s home. The sheriff’s office is also in the process of figuring out a way to save all of the new footage they are now getting.

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