Ellisville Police adds new eyes of the law to department

ELLISVILLE, MS (WDAM) - A police case that usually takes weeks to investigate can now be settled in a matter of minutes and that's thanks to BodyCams. Over the last few years, thousands of law enforcement agencies around the country have purchased body cameras for their officers, and for the past two months the Ellisville Police Department has started wearing the body-mounted cameras.

"As 12 years of chief I've learned there's three sides of the story," said Ellisville Police Chief Bruce Russell. "There's what the officer interprets, there's what the suspect interprets and there's actually the truth. You have to combine both of what the suspect says and the officer says to get the truth most of the time."

Chief Bruce Russell says the cameras were donated by Howard Industries.

"They are a great tool, they can take them off and scan an area, they can take still pictures with them, they have infrared night vision," said Chief Russell. "As far as gathering DUI evidence and for case files and family disturbances and domestic violence's you know they're a great asset and a great tool."

He said officers are instructed to activate the camera every time they step out of their patrol vehicle and deal with the public.

"The only drawback is the officer has full control over the device," said Chief Russell.

While the device can be improved, Chief Russell said he plans to purchase more body cameras for his department in the near future.

"Every department should have them that should be standard issued equipment," said Chief Russell. "When you give out the gun, the badge, the Taser, the bullets, the body cam ought to be right there with you," said Chief Russell.

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