Smyrna law enforcement agent will have another item of equipment to put on when the prepare for their shifts on Wednesday.
All officers designated to the patrol division, investigators, street crimes, K-9, crime prevention, S.T.E.P., D.U.I. Task Force and park rangers will now be needed to put on among 75 body electronic cameras the department acquired for a grand overall of $68,140, the department revealed in a release.
“Essentially, all Smyrna Officers coming into contact with civilians will be required by policy to use body worn cameras,” department spokesman Chris Graeff said.
Authorities will use the footage from the cams to help the prosecution of crooks, however the video footage will also be vital for examining resident complaints into officer misconduct. Some body video camera video might later on be used as training helps and for public affairs purposes, the department said.
Graeff said that the cameras were purchased with the intent of, “increasing transparency and being proactive with community policing.”
Smyrna authorities are under investigation by the GBI after one of their officers shot and eliminated an unarmed suspect who was being sought for arrest in March of this year.
On March 24, Sgt. Kenneth Owens and officers Graeff and Mark Cole were joined by 4 Cobb County police officers in an attempt to serve an arrest warrant on 23-year-old Nicholas Thomas, who was working at the Goodyear inside the Vinings Crossing shopping mall.
Authorities state that when Thomas saw the officers approaching, he drove a customer’s white Maserati around the structure a number of times in a negligent way, then drove straight at the officers. At this point, authorities say that Owens feared for his security and fired at the Maserati, eliminating Thomas.
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