CHARLOTTE, N.C. – There is a new plan to dramatically increase the number of body cameras for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers. If approved, CMPD would add 1,800 body cameras, according to city documents.
The additional body cameras would go to tactical units such as the SWAT team. A local community leader says the extra body cameras would have been helpful with past cases, like the deadly police shooting of Keith Scott.
“There were more officers on-scene that had body camera footage and some of that was due to the fact that some of the officers were tactical and didn't have body cameras,” says Richard Dawkins with SAFE Coalition.
However, that could soon change. NBC Charlotte is uncovering details of a plan to add 1,800 body cameras, increasing the total to 3,200 overall. According to city documents, those would go to tactical units such as the SWAT team, VCAT and for special events.
Dawkins has been pushing for every officer to have a body camera.
“If there's any segment of the police department that needs it, it would be the tactical unit,” says Dawkins.
The additional cameras would be paid for in part by a $200,000 donation from a local police foundation. Dawkins supports the initiative but would like to see stricter rules to make sure all officers keep the cameras turned on.
“What is the recourse if an officer doesn't have their video on when they have an encounter,” says Dawkins.
Dawkins acknowledges it's not easy to figure out how undercover officers could use body cameras.
“How can we, one keep the officer safe in an undercover environment, but also have police accountability?” says Dawkins.
He says he's looking into a solution for that as well.
The plan will be brought to the city council on Monday. CMPD told NBC Charlotte they wanted to wait until after the meeting to discuss the issue.