Police: Cameras help eliminate complaints and lawsuits
BULLITT COUNTY, Ky. (WDRB)--Several months ago police officers got a new weapon in their arsenals to fight crime and complaints in Bullitt County. Police say body mounted cameras are doing the job.
That's because when there are two sides to a story involving police, the cameras tell the truth.
"Put your hands behind your back! Put your hands back there," that was some of the dramatic sound from a video involving police and a suspect recently.
The may look and sound a little disturbing, but police say it actually shows officers did not use excessive force.
"Basically the person was told there was a court order, they had to be detained at the time, they refused to follow commands to be taken," says Det. Mike Murdoch, with Bullitt County Sheriff's Office.
Det. Murdoch says the body mounted cameras, the department put into use last year, are paying off with everything from traffic stops to violent confrontations...like the one we just told you about.
He says, "Routinely we get complaints on situations like that where the officer they say used too much force."
And police say the cameras have all but eliminated both the complaints and lawsuits filed against the sheriff's office.
"I know that since we've had the cameras we've had zero lawsuits and zero complaints and it has taken care of the issue," says Det. Murdoch.
There have been phone call complaints but Det. Murdoch says once they invite the person to come and look at the video...things change. "They'll either hang up on us immediately or they'll tell us never mind, I'm not too worried about it."
Every officer on the street now has a camera strapped to their shoulder, and it is always on...even on medical checks.
At one home, officers kicked in the door and found an elderly man inside. Murdoch says the cameras are their insurance just in case. "Now we can prove that this is what happened, this is why we kicked in the door and in that case there it was actually good because the person was unconscious and in full arrested and ems had to work on the subject."
And another benefit for both police and the people they stop is that the video can not be altered or deleted.
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