Trinity police implement body cams with head mounts; Clinton proposes mandatory use

Trinity police implement body cams with head mounts; Clinton proposes mandatory use
Axon Fex Cameras: KTRE Staff
Axon Fex Cameras: KTRE Staff

TRINITY, TX (KTRE) - One East Texas town got a new and unique piece of equipment that will assure smooth and documented interactions between police and citizens.

The new equipment comes on the heels of one presidential candidate saying she'd like to see body cameras used by all police department across the country.

Ferguson, New York, and Baltimore were all the scenes of unrest and protests after police interactions that ended in deaths.

"Not every problem can be or will be prevented by cameras, but this is a common-sense step," said Hillary Clinton, Democratic presidential candidate.

Clinton proposed that body cams be mandatory for all police agencies across the country at the criminal justice reform at Columbia University on Wednesday.

"With everything that's going on and the national attention that police have been getting, there was an extra concern that our patrol car cams were not enough," said Steve Jones, the Chief of Trinity Police Department.

Jones has recently implemented a camera system made by Taser called Axon Flex.

"If somebody tried to claim something happened, or if somebody did do something wrong, then we're going to be able to show exactly what happened," Jones said.

Jones introduced the new cams to the community via Facebook. He recorded a light-hearted video of Officer Givens of the Trinity Police Department without Givens knowing he was being recorded.

He said the public should be prepared to see more videos of police interactions.

"It's the real time in your face events," Jones said.

Several other East Texas police departments have body cams now, and Jones said he agrees that they have made a difference already.

"I personally believe the majority of police officers out there don't mind having cameras. They want them, and they just might not have the funding," Jones said.

Jones said he's happy to have the support of the council and the mayor who agreed the Axon Flex cameras were a worthy investment.

"It's time to change our approach. It's time to end the incarceration era," Clinton said.

Clinton said that patterns have become unmistakable and undeniable concerning the deaths of Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, and Freddie Gray. Jones said that these cameras will protect both his officers and Trinity citizens.

During Clinton's speech, she said "federal dollars should be used to help buy body cameras for police departments."

She added they would encourage "accountability and transparency" practices that the Trinity Police Department prefers to follow.

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