Mayor Rogero expects to make proposal to purchase KPD body cameras

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- At the city council's meeting on Tuesday, the council discussed and passed a resolution to request Knoxville police "to explore the cost of acquiring and maintaining body worn cameras."

In a joint statement, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Knoxville Police Chief Eve Thomas said they 'welcome City Council's resolution."

"We welcome City Council’s resolution. Over the last year, we have been evaluating new technology for our officers. We have now transitioned to new laptops with FirstNet capability that increase our ability to upload large amounts of data directly with priority. We have been evaluating advanced in-car dash cameras in two patrol vehicles and last week ordered two body-worn cameras to begin their evaluation along with the in-car cameras. We look forward to sharing with City Council the results of that evaluation and the costs associated with the technology."

The resolution, requested by council members Marshall Stair, Mark Campen, Seema Singh, Stephanie Welch, Lauren Rider, Andrew Roberto and Gwen McKenzie, states that the Knoxville Police Department provide a report of their findings no later than January 15, 2020.

At the meeting on September 10, the mayor said she expected the report's findings to be available long before January and hopes to bring the proposal before the council before she leaves office.

She also said she expects to make a proposal to amend the budget to purchase the cameras after the evaluation report comes in.

Tuesday's resolution comes after an officer-involved shooting that killed Channara Tom Pheap, 33. Officer Dylan M. Williams is on leave while an investigation continues.

Many in the community called for Knoxville Police Officers to start wearing body cams after Pheap's death.

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