Knoxville Police reveal new body cameras, upgrade in-car cameras

The camera systems will automatically upload all footage to the cloud storage system.
Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 1:04 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Knoxville Police Department announced it completed its first-ever deployment of body cameras and installed upgraded in-car camera systems Thursday.

Over the last few months, KPD said contractors have worked to install the upgraded in-car camera systems in every marked KPD cruiser.

Once the in-car and body cameras were installed, officers s received training conducted by KPD Tech Services personnel on the functionality of the systems.

“We are ecstatic to announce that all uniformed KPD officers are now outfitted with body-worn cameras and improved in-car camera systems,” Chief of Police Eve Thomas said. “Our department has wanted and needed this equipment for some time, and I am grateful to Mayor Kincannon and the members of City Council for their support of this effort.”

The first phase of the project happened in October when 50 officers were given body cameras and 50 police cruisers were updated with the in-car system. The second phase included the remaining cars and officers. This phase began in January and concluded on March 9.

Officials said during the entirety of the project, 297 body cameras were issued and 333 in-car systems were installed.

“I am eternally grateful to the Tech Services Unit for their work throughout the process,” Thomas added. “Police Technology Manager Julia Small, Technicians Eric Miller and Greg Whitaker and assistant Hunter Harrison put their heart and soul into this project. It was a tremendous undertaking that was daunting to say the least. However, those four worked diligently with unwavering dedication and enthusiasm towards this project’s successful completion.”

The in-car systems will improve the video quality and field view as well as add a rear-facing camera that captures video of the back seat of the cruiser. The cameras are activated when the backdoor is opened.

The body cameras will automatically record anytime an officer opens his or her door or if they are within close proximity to another officer whose body camera is activated.

The camera systems will automatically upload all footage to the cloud storage system.

As of Friday, March 26, officials said nearly 67,000 GB of data captured by either body-worn or in-car cameras had been stored and nearly 290,000 pieces of video had been uploaded to the cloud for storage.

“This technology will drastically improve transparency and accountability,” Thomas said. “I feel that it will also boost the confidence citizens have in our department as it will showcase the professionalism, respect and empathy our officers display on a daily basis. This is a great thing for our department and city.”

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