GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – More police departments across America are equipping officers with body cameras and now, East Carolina University is getting on board.
One of the ECU Police Department’s top priorities is to put body cams on all officers by this fall.
This has been a trend for law enforcement across the country in recent years, emphasizing the need for video. Officers say body cams are helpful not only in extreme circumstances, but also to aid in instruction and training.
Lieutenant Chris Sutton says each officer’s car does have a camera, but this is the next step.
“There’s a need there that will help us to better serve the public and we’re moving in that direction. We just want to be very strategic and tactical in that so that what we have will best fit our needs and best serve the community,” Lt. Sutton said.
ECU Police already have the necessary funding. Right now, they’re evaluating which technology to go with. They’re considering factors like data storage and placement on officers, among others.
“Society and culture kind of demands that you have cameras that record the footage of officer and civilian interaction. It’s also something that as law enforcement advances and moves towards best practices, that’s also going to demand that you have these cameras,” Lt. Sutton said.
ECU Police will still have to follow standards put in place by former Governor Pat McCrory regarding when and how they could release any video recorded.
This comes during a time when the department is undergoing many changes, perhaps most notably, searching for a new police chief. That’s another unknown they hope to have in place by this fall.