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Knoxville Police Department Completes Deployment of Body-Worn Cameras and Upgrade of In-Car Camera S 
The Knoxville Police Department has completed its first-ever deployment of body-worn cameras as well as the installation of upgraded in-car camera systems, it was announced on Thursday, April 1. 

“We are ecstatic to announce that all uniformed KPD officers are now outfitted with body-worn cameras and improved in-car camera systems,” Chief of Police Eve Thomas said. “Our department has wanted and needed this equipment for some time, and I am grateful to Mayor Kincannon and the members of City Council for their support of this effort.”

Over the past several months, contractors have worked to install the upgraded Axon in-car camera systems in every marked KPD cruiser. As part of that, the process also included the installation of the technology required to operate the Axon body-worn cameras. Once installs were completed, officers received training conducted by KPD Tech Services personnel on the functionality of the in-car systems and body-worn cameras before hitting the streets. 

The first phase of the project concluded in mid-October, as 50 officers were outfitted with body-worn cameras and 50 vehicles were retrofitted with the updated in-car system. The second phase, which included the remaining officers and vehicles, began in mid-January and concluded on March 9. The time between those two phases was devoted to receiving, inventorying and sorting the equipment for phase two of the program, as well as scheduling and preparing the necessary officer training. Over the entirety of the project, 297 body-worn cameras were issued and 333 in-car systems were installed. 

“I am eternally grateful to the Tech Services Unit for their work throughout the process,” Thomas added. “Police Technology Manager Julia Small, Technicians Eric Miller and Greg Whitaker and assistant Hunter Harrison put their heart and soul into this project. It was a tremendous undertaking that was daunting to say the least. However, those four worked diligently with unwavering dedication and enthusiasm towards this project’s successful completion.” 

“Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to implement these new body-cams and in-car camera systems,” Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon said. “This was one of the first major initiatives I announced after becoming Mayor and I am pleased to see the full roll-out of this technology. There is no doubt, these are critical tools when it comes to public safety and these new cameras will help increase accountability for our officers and the public.”

The new Axon in-car system drastically improves upon the video quality and field of view that was offered by its predecessor. Additionally, the new in-car system added a rear-facing camera that captures video from the back seat of cruisers and is automatically activated when the backdoor is opened. 

The activation of the body-worn cameras is also intended to be almost fully automated. The Axon body-worn cameras automatically record anytime an officer opens his or her door or if they are within close proximity to another officer whose body camera is activated. 

Additionally, the camera system automates the upload of all body camera or in-car footage to the cloud storage system without burdening officers working in the field. As of Friday, March 26, nearly 67,000 GB of data captured by either body-worn or in-car cameras had been stored. Additionally, nearly 290,000 pieces of video had been uploaded to the cloud for storage.

“This technology will drastically improve transparency and accountability,” Thomas said. “I feel that it will also boost the confidence citizens have in our department as it will showcase the professionalism, respect and empathy our officers display on a daily basis. This is a great thing for our department and city.”
Posted by serland On 01 April, 2021 at 12:00 PM