Kentucky State Police getting body cameras

The cameras will be deployed throughout the year
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 6:01 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WAVE) - 20 states do not issue body cameras to their state troopers.

Kentucky is now moving off that list.

State Police officials demonstrated their combined squad car and body camera system at the state police training center in Frankfort.

The cameras will be issued throughout this year as new squad cars get outfitted with the system.

“By having multiple angles, the body cam plus the integrated system gives us that much more documentation of what actually occurred,” State Police Commissioner Phillip Burnett said.

780 body cameras will be issued to state troopers. 555 will be combined with the squad car video camera systems as well, all in the name of one goal, public trust.

“These devices demonstrate to the public that our investigations will be done openly and transparently,” Justice Cabinet Secretary Kerry Harvey said.

An NBC investigation in Atlanta found the majority of Georgia State Patrol shootings took place out of view of the squad car camera. Georgia does not issue body cameras to its state troopers. It’s one of 20 states without them. Kentucky now joins the 30 others that do.

“When our troopers are accused of misconduct, these video recordings will show in the overwhelming majority of cases our troopers acted accordingly and within the public interest,” said Harvey.

Kentucky State Police have investigated dozens of police shootings across the state over the last three years. Investigators will now be able to review troopers actions with the same vantage point as other departments with cameras.

“Our special response team will have a body cam, our detectives that would be executing a search warrant will have a body cam,” Burnett said.

The cameras will be issued throughout 2023.

The state is spending more than $12 million for the new camera system.

The state police said money given to it in earlier years was needed to replace worn out police vehicles and Vietnam era rifles issued to officers.