Tulsa Police To Begin Field Tests Of Body Cameras

Monday, September 26th 2016, 11:21 am
By: News On 6

In the wake of the Terence Crutcher shooting, Tulsa Police officers will soon begin field testing several models of body cameras. Officials have not yet chosen a vendor.

Dash cams and body cams help officers record every minute of a traffic stop or an arrest, but only if the officer has them. The Tulsa Police Department was awarded a $600,000 grant to buy body cameras, but one year later, is still deciding what to buy.

9/22/2015 Related Story: Tulsa Police Get Grant For Body-Worn Cameras

The department has previously said it hoped to deploy the first cameras in 2017. Field testing is expected to start next month.

The police department quickly released dash cam video as well as video from the police helicopter after Crutcher's shooting, but experts say they would likely have several other views of what happened if officers had body cams in place.

Special Coverage: Terence Crutcher Shooting Death

The Department of Justice also announced Monday that it's awarding more than $20 million to 106 state, city, tribal and municipal law enforcement agencies to purchase body cameras for police officers. 

The awards are funded under the Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Fiscal Year 2016 Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program.

The funding will help law enforcement organizations implement body-worn camera policies, practices and evaluation methods to make a positive impact on the quality of policing in individual communities.  

“As we strive to support local leaders and law enforcement officials in their work to protect their communities, we are mindful that effective public safety requires more than arrests and prosecutions,” said Attorney General Lynch.  “It also requires winning – and keeping – the trust and confidence of the citizens we serve.  These grants will help more than 100 law enforcement agencies promote transparency and ensure accountability, clearing the way for the closer cooperation between residents and officers that is so vital to public safety.”