The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Body cameras become staple for TCC police

Body cameras become staple for TCC police

By Jamil Oakford/ managing editor

TCC’s police department now requires that officers on patrol wear a body camera, stemming from a policy that took shape just over a year ago.

“The addition of body cameras was a logical progression from our current use of in-car video equipment,” TCC assistant police chief Chanissa Dietrich said.

She added that the TCC police department strives to gather accurate and complete information for any incident, offense or call an officer responds to across the district.

A TCC police officer displays his new body camera. Photos By Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian
A TCC police officer displays his new body camera.
Photos By Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian

The process for the body camera policy began with TCC’s chief of police.

“Chief Shaun Williams was the driving force in identifying a need for the body cameras, and he has worked diligently to improve the tools that are available for the officers,” Dietrich said.

The department went through a long testing period with different types of body cameras available to determine how each would fit into the daily tasks for the officers.

Body cameras, much like a dashboard camera in a squad vehicle, serve as another perspective into any situation the on-duty police officer can come across.

“[The] district police department has utilized video from the body cameras in numerous investigations and will continue to do so as video evidence is admissible in court,” she said.

For NE student Eman Abusalah, this information is surprising but supported.

“I think that’s kind of good,” she said. “It’s another way of seeing what happened.”

Abusalah believes this keeps both the police officer and the person involved accountable.

The district police department stores all this footage after it’s gathered from each campus in the department’s property and evidence room. And from there, it’s reviewed.

South student Johana Vera also approves of the body camera policy.

“I agree because some of the situations, you could see how they’re interacting with people or if they’re treating everyone fairly,” she said.

TCC’s police department is gradually expanding their body camera inventory to ensure that every officer is fitted with one in hopes to bring more safety to both the officers and the public.

The department will continue to fine-tune the program, and Dietrich believes that body cameras are a great way to help the campus officers do their job.

Vera believes everyone benefits from such a policy.

“This is a proactive step,” she said. “It’s better for everybody, including the police themselves.”

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