GREENWOOD (KFSM)--For the past four years, every Greenwood patrol officer has been equipped with a body camera.
“We've had success in utilizing those not only in collecting evidence, but also we found that our complaints have went down,” Will Dawson, Greenwood Police Chief said. “Overall usage is just a powerful thing for the department and the community.”
The AXON Flex body cameras take up to 12 hours of footage, and they can be worn around the head or clipped on glasses. Everything is uploaded to an online database that can’t be tampered, according to Chief Dawson. He said Greenwood is the third law enforcement agency in the nation to go fully deployed with the device.
“That was a big deal for us,” he said. “Were talking a society now that seems like they're expecting officers to wear cameras, so to know that were ahead of the curve already is a good feeling for us.”
After national protests following officer-involved shootings, demonstrators have been calling for equipping law enforcement with body cameras. Residents who spoke to 5NEWS had mixed opinions.
“I really don't think it's necessary I think the criminals need to be better educated,” Sherry Cox said.
“If it helps out the community in anyway or helps eliminate any type of discrepancies then I feel like it would do no harm,” Bethany Tosh said.
“Certainly it's good to know that if something does happen that we know we’re gonna have a video count of what took place,” Chief Dawson said.
Chief Dawson said in the event something does happen, he feels assured of having a video account of what took place.