Fishers police to hire special coordinator to help roll out body cams in 2020

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FISHERS, Ind. - A group of Fishers police officers will begin wearing body cameras one week from now. This is the final testing step before the full rollout of body cameras to all officers who work directly with people, including school resource officers.

"I think in this community, in this state, we have more officers doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons, and I think these body cams will help us to show that," Chief Edward Gebhart said.

Gebhart said he believes the cameras will help tell the truth about his team.

"It's unfortunate that our officers' further actions are put on trial well before the trial happens," Gebhart said.

Along with front and rear facing cameras in the patrol cars, Gebhart said the body cameras will allow supervisors to look at three angles in cases like police pursuits and use of force.

"The workload internally is going to increase dramatically," Gebhart said.

To handle information coming in from these cameras, the Fishers Police Department is hiring a body-worn camera coordinator at the beginning of next year. This person will handle the data and match it with the cases.

"It's a lot," Gebhart said about the work the cameras bring. "It's a lot. But I feel it's a necessary step for our agency to take."

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is also considering body cams. They just completed a 45-day trial and are forming a committee to help the city understand the cost. Of the officers who were in the test group, IMPD reports less than half of them "enjoyed" having the cameras.

Gebhart feels they are an asset for his team.

"For me, this is something that will speak for them and help protect them," Gebhart said.

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