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DeKalb Police testing out body cameras | News

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DeKalb Police testing out body cameras
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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (WXIA) -- DeKalb County is one step closer to arming its officers with body cameras.

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Interest in the cameras has increased since the tensions in Ferguson, Missiouri over the police shooting of an unarmed teenager.

Sgt. Michael Freeman is DeKalb County's official body camera tester. He has been wearing a device for the past ten days.

"Basically this records any interaction I have with the general public," Freeman said. "It's a simple device. It's off now. To turn it on, I slide it down and once the lens is exposed I know its running."

The video cannot be edited or modified.

DeKalb County is testing out body cameras from five different companies and says all officers could be wearing them in about six months.

"Body cameras are going to be the technology of the future," said Public Safety Director Cedric Alexander. "You're going to see it in virtually every police department small or large across this county."

The video automatically downloads at the end of an officer's shift.

The cameras cost between $500 and $1,000, but the big expense is the data storage.

With 400 officers recording everything from traffic top stops to arrests, Alexander says the costs will run well into the millions of dollars – which county commissioners would have to approve.

Freeman says the cameras may take some getting used to.

"Some officers are not so happy about it," Freeman said. "When they wear it and they realize it okay, this is going to help me. It's going to cover me in case someone wants to complain – then, they enjoy it; they actually like it."

A small group of DeKalb officers will wear the devices next week before the department narrows down a specific model to purchase for the department as a whole.


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