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Police Chief: I’m Looking Into Body Cameras For Department

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Police Chief Lawrence Roberts said March 10 that he is researching body cameras for the township’s police force.


Township police may one day wear body cameras, Police Chief Lawrence Roberts said March 10.

The chief, speaking to the Township Council, said he is researching body cams for the department.

“We’re going to look into it,” he said later. “It’s a big expense, so I don’t know what direction we’re going to go yet.”

The issue of police wearing body cameras has come into prominence in the country over the last year or so as a result of increased instances of deadly force used by police officers. Roberts said that is not an issue in the township, and not why he is considering the cameras.

“It’s something we would have done anyway,” he said. “I just think in today’s day and age, it’s time to get them.”

“I think it’s first and foremost officer safety,” Roberts said. “It’s like having mobile video cameras in cars.”

“But then there’s also the safety of the citizens,” he said. “Sometimes you may get where an officer may say one thing, a citizen may say another, they may make a complaint and we can go right to the video. It’s right there and we can see what happened.”

Roberts said servers for the cameras could cost more than $250,000, “so we want to make sure we get the right equipment. We owe it to the citizens that we get the finest equipment, but we want to put a lot of research into it, that it’s the newest technology out there and it’s going to be around for a while.”

Roberts said other departments and the state police chiefs association are also doing research into body cams.

“We’ll test them here in Franklin, it may not work out, it may work out, but I owe it to the officers and the citizens that we’re well-equipped,” he said.

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Copyright 2015 The Franklin Reporter & Advocate

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