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Madison Police Department to get body worn cameras

The Madison City Council voted unanimously to approve the buying of cameras.

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 11:06 PM

The Madison City Council unanimously approved buying sixty body worn cameras for the Madison Police Department.

Madison Police Chief David Jernigan told WAAY 31 the department is the last law enforcement agency of their size in north Alabama to get body worn cameras for officers.

The Madison City Council approved spending just over $65,000 to pay for the cameras from the departmental budget.

Someone who works in Madison said he's surprised to find out officers didn't already have these body worn cameras.

"You would think our police department would have top of the line everything, but in the past couple year or two or so, with all the incidents thats been going on, its about time they catch up," said Nocholas Britton.

Britton works as an engineer in Madison and he said body worn cameras on law enforcement make a huge difference.

"It makes me feel safer in the fact I know he or she might think different about how they approach the situation, or how they talk to me, or how the treat me, cause they know they're being watched as well. A lot of things happen when they know its only you and him there, or you or her there," said Britton.

Madison Police Chief David Jernigan told WAAY 31 getting these cameras is extremely important to increase the departments transparency and accountability for the safety of the public and for the police.

All patrol officers and school resource officers will have these cameras.

They'll be bought this summer an d officers will go through training.

After that they will hit the streets fully on September 1st.

"Hopefully nothing will ever happen, but in the odd chances where something does need to be played back its on camera. Nobody can lie, or it makes it harder to lie," said Britton.

Britton said its a shame body camera's are needed in society.

"Ethically speaking I feel as though you shouldn't need a body camera in the first place, because everyone should just act right. Treat people how you want to be treated. Obviously the world doesn't behave that way. So, to force everyone to be accountable and not just trust people to do the right thing, I think its a good measure," said Britton.

Once the body cameras are bought and officers go through some training the Madison Police Department will release the specific policy officers will be following with the cameras.

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