Getac Video Solutions has announced it has completed the roll out of a body-worn camera (BWC) program for the Jackson (MS) Police Department. All Jackson police officers are now outfitted with a camera, furthering the city and police department’s efforts to foster transparency, and continue building effective relationships between officers and residents.
Jackson officials say the technology also sets the stage for broader smart city applications that will enhance visibility and awareness, and allow the city to pinpoint needs and direct resources to improve the quality of community and work life. “The benefits of introducing body-worn cameras have been immediately apparent,” said Sam Brown, public information officer for the Jackson PD. “Since officers started to wear cameras, we’ve seen a 90% reduction in citizen complaints. And the feedback from residents and officers has been positive. The cameras support both the core values of our department and our goal of developing a productive, tech-forward smart city.”
Jackson PD leaders initiated the search for a BWC provider and selected Getac Video Solutions in mid-2019. The implementation started with a pilot to test and refine the city’s approach to using the technology, and currently includes more than 270 Getac cameras. The company provides ongoing support and services as well.
Getac Video Solutions was able to quickly deploy the system to advance the chief’s initiative to improve citizen visibility into the professional conduct of officers. A primary feature that advances this transparency is a default feature of Getac cameras to begin recording 30 seconds before an officer activates the camera, providing further transparency in moments leading up to interactions between officers and citizens.
“Our mission is the Jackson Police Department mission—to deliver superior service to the city and its citizens,” said Tom Guzik, president of Getac Video Solutions. “Body-camera technology allows officers to be more efficient and transparent, but it’s as effective as the operator. So we not only deliver cameras, we put an equal emphasis on giving the department and officers the knowledge and support to be successful.”
Along with their day-to-day use, the BWCs strengthen Jackson’s vision for a smart city sustained by a holistic view of public safety and policing, helping increase protection and bringing greater efficiencies to the department, Getac says.