CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Clarksville Police and the City of Clarksville are making steady progress in implementing a police body-worn camera program, with training and system installation starting this month and full deployment of the system expected to be completed in February 2019.
Last fall, the City was awarded a $337,500 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, with an equal match approved by the Clarksville City Council, to begin equipping Clarksville Police Department officers with body-worn camera.
“The implementation of the body-worn camera program is complex, including developing policies, training officers and sharing information about the program with the community,” Police Chief Al Ansley said. “The process is ongoing and on schedule, and the Police Department wants to update the public on the status of the program.”
CPD’s body-worn camera policy, which was developed with input from the community and went through several changes and updates, has been approved by the U.S. Department of Justice. This “living document” will continue to change as needed as implementation of the body-worn cameras takes place.
Body-worn camera policy implementation and training for every sworn officer on the Clarksville Police Department will take place in August and September 2018. Simultaneously, the department and its vendor, AXON, will begin installing the technological infrastructure, which includes secure storage, capture, and management of data on a Cloud-based system.
After the reliability of the technology has been tested and assured, AXON will begin training officers on the actual use of the body-worn cameras and the associated software. Additionally, prosecutors and court personnel will be trained on relevant aspects of the system. This is projected for completion in in September and October.
After completion of training, the body-worn camera system will “go live” in the field incrementally to officers in November and December, barring any delays or glitches.
“We’ve worked hard for nearly three years to secure this grant, and now to implement the body-worn camera program,” Mayor Kim McMillan said. “The Clarksville Police Department does an excellent job, and these body-worn cameras will enhance their ability to serve and protect our residents, and provide additional transparency and accountability.”
Full deployment of Clarksville’s police body-worn camera system is expected to be completed by the end of February 2019, but could be sooner if no problems arise, Chief Ansley said.
“Implementing the body-worn cameras in a controlled, incremental manner allows for troubleshooting and correction of issues that may come to light,” Ansley said. “We have been thorough and careful, and we believe this will ensure the most efficient implementation of the body-worn cameras.”
Clarksville Police and City leaders have met several times with the public during open meetings, and encourage citizens to contact the department with any questions they may have about the body-worn camera program. CPD also has provided updates on the program to the Department of Justice as part of the grant process.