Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) Chief John Drake announced last week that full body-worn and in-car camera deployment across the entire MNPD is now complete.
“After project completion at all eight precincts in mid-July, training and camera distribution continued to officers in all other remaining police department components,” according to a press release that the MNPD published.
“As of today, cameras have been deployed to 1,367 authorized employees (lieutenants, sergeants, and officers) to include Metro Parks Police. In-car camera systems with multiple angles have been installed in a total of 790 police vehicles.”
Two experts warned Metro Nashville officials in 2019 to watch themselves to make sure they don’t go overboard paying for body cam technology. This, according to a report that two consultants prepared for Davidson County District Attorney General Glenn Funk.
Those two consultants, Kay Chopard Cohen of the Washington, D.C.-based Chopard Consulting, and Paul Wormeli, of the Virginia-based Wormeli Consulting, released a report about body cams to the Metro Nashville government.
“Very little research has been done illustrating the positive or negative impacts of BWC evidence. That said, it is hard to suggest a rationale where video evidence showing real-time actions would be detrimental to the justice system’s fact-finding process,” Cohen and Wormeli said in their report.
“But a jurisdiction should engage in a realistic cost/benefit analysis to assess the impact of the creation of this type of program to the entire budget of a city, county, or state.”
Nashville Mayor John Cooper in 2019 unveiled a plan for MNPD officers to start wearing body cams.
“It’s important that we get this done, and it’s important that we get it right,” Cooper said at the time.
“This plan puts cameras in the field as soon as the infrastructure is there to support them and allows us to learn what works in the process.”
Several issues delayed the camera rollout including Metro agencies not finalizing policies on how police video footage would be shared, and the Metro Nashville Police Department not having the infrastructure to support wireless uploads.
Furthermore, the cost of these cameras factored into the delayed plan.
– – –