Clarksville, TN – Citizens are being encouraged to get involved in the process to implement a police body-worn camera program in the City of Clarksville.
The City has been awarded a $337,500 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to begin equipping Clarksville Police Department officers with body-worn cameras.
But implementing the program will be a complex, months-long process that will include developing policies, training officers and sharing information about the program with citizens.
As a first step, citizens are invited to submit questions, concerns and comments about the body-worn camera program using a survey form available on the City’s website at www.cityofclarksville.com/index.aspx?recordid=201&page=397
Survey responses will be compiled and addressed at a series of public forums to be scheduled later this fall.
The grant requires a $337,500 match from the City, and a budget amendment will be presented to the City Council. The Council earlier approved a resolution expressing support for the grant and committing to “sustaining the long-term program after the initial funding expires.”
Clarksville Police Chief Al Ansley urged citizens to use the online form to submit their questions and comments and then attend one of the forums.
“Ultimately, I think this program will be an important advance in policing, and we want the community to be engaged in the process,” Ansley said. “But it will require a lot of input, planning and training. Because this is a complex process, we expect Clarksville police officers won’t begin wearing body-worn cameras until late 2018 or early 2019.”
Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan said the body-worn camera program will make an outstanding Police Department even better, and she wants the community to learn about program and provide input from the beginning of implementation.
“The Clarksville Police Department has high standards, which are reflected in its accreditations and our favorable crime-rate statistics,” Mayor McMillan said. “The Department also does an excellent job with community relations, and body-worn cameras will only enhance these relationships by providing additional transparency and accountability.”